The Powerful Brain of the Corvid will Blow you Away

Hyperpole? Nope. This gets filed under “What the heck?!” I’ve long been a fan of crows because they’re interesting birds and super smart. A group or collective of crows is known as a “murder,” which appeals to my dark sense of humor. The following video underscores just how incredibly smart they are.

Studies back this up, and say that they might even be as smart as Great Apes. According to one study several years ago,

“…while having very different brain structures, both crows and primates use a combination of mental tools, including imagination and the anticipation of possible future events, to solve similar problems. They base their argument on existing studies.

Emery and Clayton write, “These studies have found that some corvids are not only superior in intelligence to birds of other avian species (perhaps with the exception of some parrots), but also rival many nonhuman primates.

New Caledonian crows manufacture two very different types of tool for finding prey. Hooks crafted from twigs are used to poke grubs from holes in trees, while they also cut up stiff leaves with their beaks, carefully sculpting them into sharp instruments for probing leaf detritus for insects and other invertebrates.

A New Caledonian crow in captivity learned how to bend a piece of straight wire into a hook to probe for food. (Watch a video of the crow doing this.)”

crow2Advanced Facial Recognition Technology. Not only that, but crows can apparently remember faces, conspire, use tools, communicate with one another about threats, and even across “murders” of crows to avoid being threatened. This humorous piece from “Cracked” (yes, Cracked!) tells us a bit about it. Pretty amazing stuff. And if you haven’t had enough with the above, try this amazing piece from PBS. Crows are conspiring against threats: researchers in masks captured birds, then released them on a college campus. When those same men in masks showed up, not only did the captured birds caw and scold them, they seemed to sound to the alarm to other birds–those who weren’t captured by the masked researchers also joined in. In fact, after being caught once, the indignant caught bird can remember that same face on campus for more than two years. Wow.

 Yours in Mental Hygiene,

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The Ancient Brain and Modern Mindfulness

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