Ravens parallel great apes in physical and social cognitive skills



Here, we systematically tested the physical and social cognitive skills of eight hand-raised ravens, members of the corvid family, with a special focus on development. Te results enabled the first direct, quantitative comparison with the cognitive performance of individuals of two great ape species, chimpanzee and orangutans, tested across
the same domains and tasks. Our results suggest that ravens are not only social intellects but have also developed
sophisticated cognitive skills for dealing with the physical world. Furthermore, their cognitive development was very rapid and their cognitive performance was on par with adult great apes’ cognitive performance across the same cognitive scales. Our findings thus put recent assessments of ravens’ and great apes’ conspicuous similarities in single cognitive paradigms on solid footing. In addition, they show that the impact of ecological challenges of species’ cognitive development has, at least in the field of cognition, been severely underestimated and that socialization may influence test performance. Hence, studying cognition requires also an understanding of the
dynamic of the different influences that, during ontogeny, contributes to adult cognition 118.


I believe it. Tree planting in my youth, I put in a very hungry day because ravens had burgled my carefully stashed and fastened lunch kit.


Crows are good problem solvers


I saw an amazing display of planning and teamwork between two crows a few years back. Was playing golf and one in my group was riding in a cart by himself. He stopped at the Snack Shack on the 10th tee and bought a hotdog. All the while two big crows had been sitting in a tree next to the tee box watching him. When he got back in the cart and set the food on the seat next to him the crows acted. One flew down and landed right in front of the cart and started hopping around squawking and flapping. While the golfer was distracted looking at the ruckus the other crow snuck up behind the cart out of sight on the passenger side and stole the hotdog. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: The two crows then flew off down the fairway where they proceeded to both eat the plunder. The whole theft went so smoothly you could tell it wasn’t the first time they had pulled it off. Smart birds! :slightly_smiling_face: