our networks
tlcanimal planetscience channeldiscovery healthinvestigation discovery
site search
discovery storediscovery adventures
tlc
 
animals news

News — Animals


Crows Bend Twigs Into Tools

small text
large text
Submit to:        

Oct. 5, 2007 — Mounting tiny video cameras to the tail feathers of crows, researchers discovered that the birds use a variety of tools to seek food, and even make their own tools, plucking, smoothing and bending twigs and grass stems.

"We observed a new mode of tool use that was not known before. We saw them use tools on the ground, using a little grass stem to poke and fish into nests," researcher Christian Rutz of England's University of Oxford said in a telephone interview.

New Caledonian crows had been known to use sticks to probe rotting trees for grubs, but they were never seen to use tools on the ground before.

advertisement
line

"The ecological niche they exploit with tools is larger than had been thought," Rutz said of the findings published in Thursday's online edition of the journal Science.

Rutz's research team studies New Caledonian crows in the lab where they have been known to bend wires into tools to retrieve food. They wanted to see if the crows have similar behavior in the wild.


Kasey-Dee Gardner and James Williams find out what's in their mutts by looking at their DNA.
Get more Discovery News video here.

But it's hard to observe the birds on the Pacific island of New Caledonia both because of the heavy forests and the birds' sensitivity to having people around.

So they came up with the idea of feather-cam, a 13-gram video camera they tested on lab crows and then took to the forest. A gram is about the weight of a paper clip.

      More
[ 1 . 2 ]
  next »




Get More from Discovery News:
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
Fri, 30 Mar 2012
 
send to a friend  printer friendly version
rss subscribe  podcast subscribe
Crow Cam
Crow Cam

broadband news

Related News:


Main — Archive

Pictures: DCI | AP Photo/Journal Science, Jolyon Troscianko |
Source: Associated Press
Editor: Discovery News

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS

Discovery Channel | TLC | Animal Planet | Discovery Health | Science Channel | Planet Green
Discovery Kids | Military Channel | Discovery News | Investigation Discovery | HD Theater | Turbo | FitTV

HowStuffWorks | TreeHugger | Petfinder | PetVideo | Discovery Education

Visit the Discovery Store: Toys & Games | Telescopes | DVD Sets | Planet Earth DVD | Gift Ideas

By visiting this site, you agree to the terms and conditions
of our Visitor Agreement. Please read. Privacy Policy.
ATTENTION! We recently updated our privacy policy. The changes are effective as of September 10, 2008.
To see the new policy, click here. Questions? See the policy for the contact information.

Copyright © 2012 Discovery Communications, LLC.

The leading global real-world media and entertainment company.