As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

New Caledonian crows extract prey faster with complex hooked tools


Date:  January 22, 2018
Source:  University of St. Andrews

Summary:
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.



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