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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?


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)


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

Wait, this one's better:

Lim Leng Hiong said...

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