Super intelligent crows’ “tool box” will leave you in awe


Scientists have been intrigued by the cognitive abilities of birds for a long time. Recent research has revealed new details about how intelligent these birds are. Observing a bird’s behavior might give vital clues about their mental ability. One sign of intelligence is using tools, which involves using an external object for personal use.


Although there have been reports of birds using various objects for creating nests and feeding purposes since the 1930s, current research has revealed that crows and other corvids are now using tools in more advanced ways. For example, a recent study in the UK observed a New Caledonian crow creating her own tool by bending a straight wire into a hook to lift a bucket of food after the hooked wire was stolen by another bird.

Another experiment found that crows could use problem-solving skills to achieve a goal, even when their preferred tool was removed. For example, when presented with objects too short of reaching food in a box, some crows could figure out that they could put certain things together to achieve the same effect.


Crows also demonstrate a level of consciousness that was once believed to be unique to humans and some mammals. For example, in a study in Germany, researchers trained crows to identify images. They found that particular neural activity in the Nidopallium Caudolaterale (NCL) appeared to correlate with consciousness. While the NCL is structurally different from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) found in mammals, the two areas serve similar functions in decision-making, assigning value, working memory, and understanding numbers.

The evolutionary history of this type of intelligence and brain connectivity is still being studied. Still, it’s unlikely that the NCL and PFC evolved in birds and mammals before they split 320 million years ago. More likely, these two separate brain regions developed in response to similar evolutionary stresses.


The intelligence of crows and other corvids challenges traditional ideas about what it means to be innovative and how intelligence evolves. These birds’ intelligence has been noted by human societies for many years, and modern scientific research has only strengthened our grasp of their cognitive abilities.

Even though most of what everyone knows about bird intelligence comes from research on their behavior, cutting-edge neuroscience techniques have made it possible to go even farther into their brains and gain new insights into how they absorb information.

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