Topic: Rooks and fables  (Read 7881 times)

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Offline toasty0

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2009, 06:05:00 pm »
Excellent! Another 50 words I'll make the top 20%.

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2009, 06:47:57 am »
Excellent! Another 50 words I'll make the top 20%.

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2009, 07:06:19 am »
Link to full article

Quote
The scientists' findings push back the origins of culturally transmitted behavior to 14 million years ago, when orangutans first evolved from their more primitive primate ancestors. Previous evidence for cultural transmission in chimpanzees suggested an origin of cultural traits 7 million years ago.


Quote
In an article in the Jan. 3, 2003, Science, the scientists presented evidence for cultural transmission of 24 behaviors. These include:

-- using leaves as protective gloves or napkins;

-- using sticks to poke into tree holes to obtain insects, to extract seeds from fruit or to scratch body parts;

-- using leafy branches to swat insects or gather water;

-- "snag-riding," the orangutan equivalent of a sport in which the animals ride falling dead trees, grabbing vegetation before the tree hits the ground;

-- emitting sounds such as "raspberries," or "kiss-squeaks," in which leaves or hands are used to amplify the sound;

-- building sun covers for nests or, during rain, bunk nests above the nests used for resting.


Quote
For instance, they found that while orangutans on one side of a barrier river used tools on the fruit, those on the other did not


Quote
"However, we saw that habitat did not have a significant impact on similarity of these behaviors," said van Schaik. "And our confidence that we were seeing cultural transmission was increased by analyses showing that proximate sites showed more behavioral similarity than distant sites.
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Offline Corbomite

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2009, 07:57:13 am »
More and more animals have been observed to make limited use of tools.

There are two things that I don't believe animals have been observed to do with tools:

1/ Keeping and maintaining a tool for future use.


Wouldn't beavers fall into this category? Also there is a species of ant that herds and maintains aphids like cattle to get their honeydew so the ants have to provide ideal conditions for the aphids to live in so they are happy and produce. In the broad sense, I believe one can use one's environment as a tool (or at least it's help). I know we do to many extents.



2/ Making tools specifically for the purpose of making other tools in the future.

Ant and termite mounds may qualify for this as they are a multi-use structure with general and specific areas which cannot survive alone and are designed with future problems or tasks "in mind".



The "Meat is Murder" part of our population has always intrigued me. We seem to be the only predator who commiserates with our prey. I've never seen a lion feel bad about running down a zebra or saw a pod of killer whales decide after three hours of attacking and trying to drown a grey whale calf while it's mother watched helplessly to suddenly feel bad about it and break off.

About three million years ago, Mother Nature decided to a bit of a bitch and dried up our food supply. This caused us to come down from our trees into a much nastier habitat. We stood up, learned to scavenge meat protein from other predator's kills and our brains grew because of it, enabling tool use and, eventually, the insight to keep those tools for future use. That led to hunting fresh game and even more protein and so on. Simply put, meat made us what we are today.

Now, that is not to say that we haven't gone too far in the husbandry direction. Livestock factories appall me. I feel we should give a bit of respect for our feed animals as they are giving their lives to feed us and I think they deserve a pleasant life (such as it is) for that sacrifice. I would pay more for my meat if I knew that they had the best life possble before slaughter and they would probably taste better too. Husbandry is the ultimate survival tool, but we have abused it.









Offline marstone

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2009, 08:32:16 am »
don't forget about the ants that are farmers.  The leaf cutter ants, they cut leaves and bring them back to the nest.  They then grow fungii on the leaves.

Ants as a collective are awesome, but no, I wouldn't say that their nest is a tool for condition 2.
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Offline Corbomite

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2009, 08:48:33 am »
don't forget about the ants that are farmers.  The leaf cutter ants, they cut leaves and bring them back to the nest.  They then grow fungii on the leaves.

Ants as a collective are awesome, but no, I wouldn't say that their nest is a tool for condition 2.

So collective tool use doesn't count?

Offline Sirgod

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2009, 11:36:31 am »
going back to what Bonk had mentioned about free range chickens.

One of the reasons why Denny (the wife) wanted chickens, is that the feed store, had to stop selling there eggs. Man they where good also, Brown eggs, 50 cents a dozen, etc. etc. But because the Government hadn't put there stamp of approval on them, It forced the consumer to go to the store and buy eggs at $1.50 a dozen.

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BOT. It is interesting about animals and there tool use. Are they just slowly Evolving to the point where they are using tools, or have we just been catching up with observational Tech, that we are noticing these things for the first time?

Stephen
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Offline Czar Mohab

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2009, 05:49:06 pm »
My favorite smart bird would have to be the sea gull. They take their shelled prey (muscle, crab, etc.) high in the air and - bombs away! - drop it on the pavement below. If that isn't enough, they'll drop rocks on it, too, before finally cracking it all the way open with their bill or another rock held in their mouth.

They do occasionally use the rocks themselves as a drop-target, but they always seemed to prefer the pavement; most of the pier was littered with broken shells and crab carcasses.

But the beauty of it is - since they would use the pavement, we humans would be the ones maintaining their tool!

The sea gulls' favorite day was when the drydock was drained after a boat went in or out - aside from the occasional unfortunate harbor seal, there would almost always be a crapload of fish in the bottom. The last two feet or so of water would be writhing with fish - and birds eating said fish. The only minus point for sea gull intelligence is that they would eat so bloody much that they would have to puke and or poop out enough weight to be able to fly back out of the drydock.

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Offline Bonk

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2009, 06:17:48 pm »
I once saw a seagull, being harassed by other gulls and wary of people, wolf down a live rock crab that was at least four inches across in one gulp. It made a very uncomfortable looking lump in its throat. Other gulls chased it around as it choked it down and to my amazement flew off.  :o

Offline Panzergranate

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2009, 04:24:35 pm »
Well Crows and Ravens and all the other Corvids have had that 65 million years since the big rock fell on the Dinosaurs plus the time before that to develop brain power.

I have had a Carrion Crow as a family pet for 5 years now.

Basically, think of dog with feathers and a beak but with a smarter brain. Like dogs they need to be petted and made a fuss of contray to the image normally attributed to them.

Crows and Ravens hate cats even more than dogs and are responsible for more feline vermin than dogs in the UK.

Unlike Hitcock's film "The Bird" protrayed, Crows and Ravens can't peck but instead kil prey (or cats) with a bite through the side of the neck..... and they have a very powerful bite. Our pet Crow "Bl;ackie" can crinch  through a chicken leg bone like it was whacked with mallet.

Despite our pet Crow "Blackie" being blind, he spends all day doing Crow business in the back garden durimg the day (sunbathing, eating, yelling, interacting with family members) and is very active.

He undersatnds questions starting with the phrase,  "Do you want....". Also he understands "Left", "Right"", "Up", "Down", etc.

He's also devised a mime system, all by himself, to tell people what he wants or needs.

Crows and Humans are the only creatures on the planet that fabricate tools for a specific task from other materials. Crows are also the only creatures with a complex language structure.

Only Crows and Humans can recognise that a reflection in a mirror is themselves.

Carrion Crows all over the world are of the same species worldwide, unlike any other creature on the planet.

Carrion Crows originated and spread out from Australia after the end of the last ice age between 6,000 to 7.000 years ago.

The US Carrion Crow is exactly the same species as the UK, European, Asian, African and any other Carrion Crow found around the world.

 
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Offline Corbomite

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2009, 04:52:57 pm »
Only Crows and Humans can recognise that a reflection in a mirror is themselves.


This is true of elephants as well.

Offline knightstorm

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2009, 04:58:34 pm »
Only Crows and Humans can recognise that a reflection in a mirror is themselves.


This is true of elephants as well.

as well as other higher primates

Offline Sirgod

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2009, 10:20:52 pm »
My wife and I was having an odd laugh tonight over some pictures of our now (oldest) boston Terrier.

not sure if it constitutes Tool use or not, But numerous times, when we used to go Camping, we would give Gruntie Gentle, some cheetos

Now she would keep them in her mouth and look into the trees for squirrels. When she would see afew, she would crawl to the tree, and bury them, then sit back and wait. When  one of them came down, she would pounce.

Now she could have just been hiding them like all dogs do, But she never ate cheetos at home. It was like she had a plan, and was deliberately baiting them.

Stephen
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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2009, 03:03:42 pm »
Er.... actually not true of higher primates. It has been demonstrated that Chimpansies regard mirror reflections as being another Chimpanse and not themselves. They have to be taught that a reflection of themselves are indeed themselves.

It also took a a Crow, in a lab, 10 seconds to figure out a food in a pulley wheel bucket problem. Conversely, a Chimp took over 3 hours to figure out that he had to pull down on the string to raise the bucket out of the tube.

A Cat, when presented by the same problem, just played with the string thus proving that Cats are incredibly stupid. :laugh:

One thing with pet Crows is that they love and need to be petted by family members to feel accepted. During the late summer maulting period, Crows mutually preen each other where they can't reach themselves, under the chin and the back of the neck.

Crows are incredibally soppy creatures when it come to being made a fuss of and are incredibly gentle birds.... only Crows and Ravens will sit on a human hands with their tallons open as they know that they could cause injury closed. You don't need to wear gloves tocarry a Crow or Raven.

As with Covids and Parakeets, they can also learn to talk, if they feel inclinded to.

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2009, 01:43:01 pm »
Link to full article

Quote
Elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror, joining only humans, apes and dolphins as animals that possess this kind of self-awareness, researchers now report.
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Offline Sirgod

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2009, 03:04:54 pm »
Interesting Nem.

BTW, Haven't seen you for a few days man, all ok?

Stephen
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2009, 03:53:32 pm »
Interesting Nem.

BTW, Haven't seen you for a few days man, all ok?

Stephen

I'm fine.  Sidetracked for a few days doing other things, both on and offline. 
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Offline Bonk

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2009, 05:52:54 am »
I was watching crows in a parking lot yesterday, soaking breadcrusts in puddles, while pigeons bobbed mindlessly about. It struck me that the crow's head is larger in proprtion to the body than the pigeons or some starlings that were zipping by.

I wonder if it measures up? There is a brain to body mass ratio theory of intelligence (already mentioned?). I wonder how crows fit in such a measure:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-to-body_mass_ratio
There is a good chart of it somewhere (perhaps a figure in "The Naked Ape"?).

Offline Nemesis

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2009, 06:49:50 am »
Some of the things I've read seem to indicate that the avian brain may well be better wired for intelligence than than the mammalian brain.  The need for light weight while still being able to handle rapid movement in 3 dimensions could have driven evolution further for avian brains than for mammals which don't have quite the same pressures for performance vs weight.

Some consider that apes have their larger brains due to the need for the same reason as the birds have efficient brains - 3 dimensional movement.  Without of course the same extreme pressure on low weight.  This is then extended to humans with prehumans taking up stone throwing for defense/offense using the same "advanced" brain capability that evolved for arboreal use.  Over time of course these prehumans evolved/developed other uses for that brain "circuitry", speech and tool making for example and the brain continued evolving more capability.
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Offline Panzergranate

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Re: Rooks and fables
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2009, 12:45:28 pm »
The avian brain doesn't have to deal with a sense of smell.... birds can't smell at all.

This does free up a lot of brain runtime for visual processing.... birds have a far superiour and faster image processing rate than humans and other mammals.

For instance an average Hawk processes images, from the eye, at over 25 frames per second. By comparison, we process at 4 per second. A Hawk can see the flicker in a TV screen or cinema projection, a Human sees no such flicker.

Also the Human eye cannot see a common Hover Fly (the world's fastest life form) move or even its 127 beats per second wings moving. To a Human eye, the Hover Fly appears to disapear and reappear from one place to another. To a bird it is visible throughout its movement.

The other sense that birds have that we lack is the inbuilt Earth magnetic field anmaly sense. Our pet Crow, "B;lackie", is blind (detached retinas and catarachs). Despite this he manages to navigate his way with uncanny precission around the large back garden, cache food in precisely the same spot and orientate when placed anywhere in the garden. However, if taken out of the garden he is completely lost and waits for help.

Also, when a large number of the Human population can't figure out their left from right, "Blackie" the Crow definately knows his left from right as he responds to directions from me when he has a supervised flyi around. He isn't a strong flyer as he spends 99.9% of his time on the ground, but occasionally lets it be known that he wants to have a go.

He also understands tha the phrase,t "Do you want...." is offering him a choice of something and a question. Crows, being fussy and fincky eatters, will eat something one day and refuse to eat it another. Blackie recognises the association of the names with various foods and if I reel through the list he'll stretch his neck up with the beak upwards with a look of interest to acknowledge that's what he wants to eat.

There are times that I appear to be talking to a petulant child when I'mtelling the bird, "What's wrong with that.... you were quite happy to eat that earlier today / yesterday".

Blackie has also devised a mime system to ask for things, which at present, is to have his head, neck and throat vigorously rubbed with a finger as he is in malt and can't scratch there himself properly.

Watching a Crow throwing a tantrum is quite amusing. Crows bellow like a rutting Stag when angry, pick up things and throw them around and look ready to pick a fight. Watching a Cat being chased by a blind Crow around the garden is even more amusing though Cats do have an instictive recognision of which birds not to mess with.

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