Ravens Can Plan Ahead, Surprised Scientists Discover

Ravens Can Plan Ahead, Surprised Scientists Discover”

In the study, scientists at Sweden's Lund University gave five ravens a series of puzzles, first teaching the birds how to get a food treat out of the puzzle box with a specific tool, and then inviting the ravens to interact with the puzzle box with no tools and with objects that didn't work on the boxes.

The ravens were made to choose between useless trinkets, tools to retrieve a reward or a token that could be exchanged with a human for a reward, all at a later time and in another location. This led to them learning and being able to replicate the actions up to 17 hours later. The birds even began to store their tokens, like saving money, for future trades. The ravens also got the opportunity to interact with the puzzle box with no tools, and with objects that would not open it.

Although the evidence is new, the ability of ravens to see ahead has long been suspected: In Greek mythology, they are associated with the god of prophecy, an old term for a group of ravens is "conspiracy" and in "Game of Thrones" a three-eyed raven appears in a prince's prophetic visions. These experiments were done to see if ravens could use their bird brains to complete tasks they wouldn't normally have to perform in the wild, namely using tools and bartering with humans.

Ravens, and other members of the corvid family, are known to be smart.

He says this kind of complex cognition may have developed in reaction to ravens' complex social hierarchy. The ravens demonstrated self-control on par with great apes by opting for the tool, which eventually earned them a better food reward than the immediate treat. But some of them decide to stick around and sneak bits of food from humans. As the animal kingdom is full of intelligent creatures, presented here are also other animals whose capabilities sometimes go unnoticed. But as with the case of the stone, in majority of the cases, the birds chose the tool that had a possibility of obtaining food in the future. Fifteen minutes later, the puzzle came back, and if the raven had chosen the right tool, they could open it. Now, two cognitive zoologists from Lund University in Sweden have established that ravens possess a similar aptitude. In this exercise, the ravens were only allowed to select one item overall.

If humans, chimps, gorillas, and orangutans can all do something, but monkeys can't, that tells a certain evolutionary story: it suggests that the ability emerged sometime after the apes split off from the monkeys on our evolutionary tree. Then they tested if the ravens could pick the correct tool out from among other objects such as a wheel, a ball, a metal pipe, and a toy car, then save it to use later. Is that a raven?

The simplest assumption in evolution is that all species that share a trait share an evolutionary history, and that the trait emerged at the beginning of that evolutionary history.

"One of [our] most interesting results is that intelligence is not restricted to human lineage", said Kabadayi. Previous studies have shown that, pound for pound, birds pack more neurons into their tiny brains than mammals, including primates. Octopi are so smart that it's almost creepy.

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