Crows are freaky f–kers. Aside from the whole “black bird of death that travels in groups called ‘murders’” thing, crows are also bafflingly smart for an animal with a head the size of an apricot. Crows can solve complex puzzles, wield all sorts of tools and recognize human faces, and now scientists have discovered crows are capable of the kind of complex causal reasoning that forms the basis for, well, pretty much all of human society.
It’s already been well documented that crows possess causal reasoning — that is to say, they understand cause and effect, but what if the cause was hidden? Would they be able to make that extra leap? Could crows imagine (or theorize if you will) about the cause something even if they couldn’t directly sense it? Damn right they can. Hit the jump to read, and watch a video about the experiment that proved it…
So, scientists placed a group of crows in a cage. On one side of the cage was a “hide” scientists could conceal themselves behind. Through this hide they would poke a large stick, which understandably freaked the birds out a bit, but if the scientists then emerged from behind the blind in view of the crows, the birds would relax and not be fearful of the area the stick poked out of before. The crows made the leap — they understood that it was the human who must have been operating the stick even though they never actually saw them doing it. By comparison, if the scientists did not allow the crows to see them leaving the blind, the birds would remain wary of the area where the stick had emerged, as they assumed the human must still be back there.
This video makes it all a little more clear…
So yeah, crows are ominous little feathered scientists. We’re all doomed.
I want more like this!
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