Behavioural ecology: tool manufacture by naive juvenile crows

Nature. 2005 Jan 13;433(7022):121. doi: 10.1038/433121a.


New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) are the most prolific avian tool-users. Regional variation in the shape of their tools may be the result of cumulative cultural evolution--a phenomenon considered to be a hallmark of human culture. Here we show that hand-raised juvenile New Caledonian crows spontaneously manufacture and use tools, without any contact with adults of their species or any prior demonstration by humans. Our finding is a crucial step towards producing informed models of cultural transmission in this species, and in animals in general.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Crows / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Learning / physiology
  • Male
  • Manufactured Materials*