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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Problem-solving Intelligence Of Bird Brainz

Picture this - you are a hungry bird and you are looking at a fat, juicy worm.

Unfortunately, the worm is floating on a bit of water in a very tall glass, and your beak is not long enough to reach it.

What do you do?



Sharp.

That practically replicates the Aesop's Fable "The Crow and the Pitcher"!

Is that a particularly smart bird, you ask?

Actually, four out of four rooks in the experiment were able to figure out this solution to the problem.

An elegant demonstration that problem-solving intelligence at least predates the evolution of mammals.

Pipette tip to Bayblab.


Would you like to know more?
-
Rooks Use Stones to Raise the Water Level to Reach a Floating Worm (Current Biology)

3 Comments:

angry doc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
angry doc said...

Wait, this one's better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xrWqsLHd2M

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Heh, superstition isn't really a form of problem-solving intelligence...