Thursday, July 26, 2012
After all, it appears that some birds are just as good at puzzles than the under-seven crowd. I blame Dora the Explorer. I'm not sure why that show is to blame, but I'm pretty sure it is:
Researchers pitted birds against boys and girls using tests inspired by the Aesop’s fable in which a thirsty crow is able to drink from a pitcher after using pebbles to raise the water level to within its reach.
In two of the three tests at Cambridge University, the birds — Eurasian jays — did just as well as the seven-year-old children...
The experiments built on earlier work in which jays quickly learned that adding stones to a cylinder half-filled with water would bring a tasty treat floating on the surface within reach of their beaks.
In a second task the jays — colourful members of the crow family and about the same size as jackdaws — realised it was better to use pebbles, which sink, than corks, which float.
When Cambridgeshire children, aged four to ten, were set similar tasks, they did as well as the jays on the first, up to the age of seven.