Second Crow Species Discovered Using Crowbars

Posted: Sep 15 2016, 5:44am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 15 2016, 7:10am CDT , in Latest Science News


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Second Crow Species Discovered Using Crowbars
A captive Hawaiian crow (‘Alalā) using a stick tool to extract food from a wooden log. The ‘Alalā is an iconic Hawaiian bird species of great cultural significance. Credit: © Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Global

A new study reveals another animal that can use tools. Watch a video of the Hawaiian crow using tools.

The crowbar has its name from the shape of the feet or beak of the crow. Maybe the real explanation is that crows know how to use a crowbar. Now scientists discovered that the endangered Hawaiian crow is an avid crowbar user. An international team of scientists and conservation experts has discovered that the critically-endangered Hawaiian crow, or ‘Alalā, is a highly proficient tool user, according to a paper published today in the leading scientific journal Nature.

The Hawaiian crow is not the only crow able to use tools. New Caledonian crow is known since decades to use tools. So far it was believed that New Caledonian crow was the only crow species that developed to use tools. Now there is a second one and there maybe more as tropical crows are not studied well.

“This raises the intriguing possibility that there are some undiscovered tool users out there,” explains the study’s lead scientist, Dr. Christian Rutz, from the University of St Andrews, UK.

“We had previously noticed that New Caledonian crows have unusually straight bills, and wondered whether this may be an adaptation for holding tools, similar to humans’ opposable thumb,” Rutz explains. Watch the video below to see the Hawaiian crow using sticks to get bugs out of wooden blocks. They even can be seen handing tools to each other.

The study tested 104 of the 109 Hawaiian crow alive at the time, and found that the vast majority of them spontaneously used tools.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
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