From HuffPo via reader Don, we have an amazing video of a crow solving a complex puzzle. We all knew that corvids were smart, but did you know that they were this smart?
Here are the HuffPo notes:
In this BBC special, Dr. Alex Taylor has set up an eight-step puzzle to try and stump one of the smartest crows he’s seen in captivity. They describe the puzzle as “one of the most complex tests of the animal mind ever.”
This isn’t the first time crows’ intelligence has been tested, either. Along with being problem solvers, these animals have an eerie tendency towards complex human-like memory skills. Through several different studies, we’ve learned that crows can recognize faces, communicate details of an event to each other and even avoid places they recognize as dangerous.
This bird, dubbed “007″ for its crafty mind, flies into the caged puzzle and spends only seconds analyzing the puzzle before getting down to business. Despite the puzzle’s difficulty, the bird only seems to be stumped momentarily. At the end of the puzzle is a food reward, but how he gets there is what will really blow your mind.
NOTE: If the video doesn’t play, or you get a video that’s not about crow intelligence, watch it directly on the HuffPo page.
Now I don’t know how much the bird was trained beforehand, and whether it knew, for instance, that putting three stones in the lucite box would release a longer stick, but I doubt it. If the bird figured all that out de novo, it’s truly remarkable. But since the bird apparently hadn’t had experience with both the stones and the small stick it used retrieve them, or with the stones and the box that released the large stick (the narrator says that the bird had experience only with single items of the 8-item puzzle), then it is a stunning demonstration of bird intelligence.