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Crow Crafts Tool

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Primates are thought to be the best tool users among animals, but a captive, wild-caught New Caledonian crow might give them a run for their money. Weir et al. report that after five trials of attempting to lift a bucket of food with either a straight or hooked wire, when left with only the straight wire, the bird spontaneously fashioned its own hook to lift the bucket. The bird successfully modified the tool nine times by wedging one end of the wire against adhesive tape, and tugging on the other end with its beak to bend the wire. This observation raises many questions about how much tool-related physics non-primate animals understand and use.

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