Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bird Brain!

For a couple weeks I've had a tab open in my browser with the sole intent of writing a quick post about it. I came across an old Neurophilosophy article talking about avian intelligence, crows in particular. It cast birds in a completely new light for me, which is always a welcome event. They went from being creatures that lived in a completely foreign way to being more familiar thinking beings, problem solvers. There are videos included in that article that demonstrate the ability of these crows to learn and adapt to our environment in what I think are remarkable ways. They craft tools with whatever they have lying around; they use traffic to crack nuts!

A perfect followup to that article is this video of Joshua Klein talking at this year's TED conference in which he discusses the intelligence of crows and explores the possibility of humans working symbiotically with them. Definitely worth ten minutes of your time.

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