Oct 5, 2007

Crows made their own Film

The human-like intelligence displayed by captive New Caledonian crows is well known to all. Now, these Crows have been allowed to star in their own reality show - filming themselves in the wild, with TV cameras attached to their tail feathers!

Scientists have filmed them bending lengths of wire into hooks and using them to fish food out of hollow tubes. They have even shown a "metatool" ability only seen before in primates, employing a short stick to retrieve the longer one needed to to reach a food morsel. But still, their behaviour in the wild remains a mystery.

The crows, which live on the New Caledonia and Loyalty islands in the south Pacific, are sensitive to human disturbance and inhabit in remote, mountainous areas. To find out more about what the crows, researchers from Oxford University came up with an ingenious solution.

Tiny video cameras, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, were attached to the tail feathers of 18 crows. With their lenses pointing out between the legs of the birds, the cameras captured colour footage of the crows foraging for food.

Scientists obtained, video recordings amounting to 451 minutes from 12 birds. These video footage will help them to know the behaviour of those intelligent crows. Link


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