Date: January 22, 2018
Source: University of St. Andrews
Biologists have discovered why some crows 'craft' elaborate hooked tools out of branched twigs.
The new study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution today (22 January), explores why crows go the extra mile rather than using simple, unmodified sticks to extract prey -- it allows them to get at hidden food several times faster than if they used basic (non-hooked) tools.
New Caledonian crows are famous for their use of tools to winkle beetle grubs and other small prey out of hiding places. Although crows are capable of extracting food with straight twigs, in some areas they actively manufacture hooked stick tools before going hunting.