Posted by: Rob Lester | September 20, 2010

Crows show intelligent tool skills

At Oxford University, seven crows were presented with a series of tests that forced them to not only use tools, but to use up to three different tools in a specific sequence in order to obtain food. What’s more amazing is that of the seven crows, four of them used tools in a sequence successfully from their very first attempt. In the most challenging experiment, the crows were faced with food that was deep inside a tube—too far to reach without tools. However, the tool long enough to retrieve the food was out of reach itself, as was the tool required to retrieve that tool. Thus, the birds had to begin with the available shortest tool and use it to retrieve the middle-length tool; then use the middle-length tool to retrieve the longest tool; and finally use the longest tool to extract the food. Scientists at Cambridge University tested the ability of rooks (a type of crow) to raise the water level in a tube by dropping stones into the water. Floating on the water was a treat available only if the water level was raised. Not only did the rooks successfully complete the test, but the Daily Mail reports that, when presented with stones of different sizes, the rooks quickly learned to use the larger stones first to raise the water level more quickly. Intelligent use of tools by chimps is one of the main evidences given for man’s common ancestry with apes.  Based on tool usage, perhaps we really descended from crows instead.  All this really proves is that God created crows (and all animals) with great intelligence and skills for their survival.  Man is the pinnacle of this creation, for we are “Made in His image.” 

PhysOrg: “Crows Can Use ‘Up to Three Tools’” 8/8/09


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