Here, as well as using stones for nut-cracking, they use them as a shield against toxic substances that spurt out of the cashew shells. In 2002, Betty the New Caledonian crow captured attention worldwide by bending a wire into a ‘hook’ and using it as a tool to extract food from a tube. Some scientists took this as a sign of superior intelligence, claiming Betty was problem-solving in a spontaneous way. Ants of the species Conomyrma bicolor pick up stones and other small objects with their mandibles and drop them down the vertical entrances of rival colonies, allowing workers to forage for food without competition.

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But if they are lucky enough to have retrieved two halves, they assemble them back into the original closed coconut form and sneak inside. The authors of the research article claimed this behaviour falls under the definition of tool use because the shells are carried for later use. However, this argument remains contested by a number of other biologists who state that the shells actually provide continuous protection from abundant bottom-dwelling predators in their home range. Tool use by American alligators and mugger crocodiles has been documented. During the breeding season, birds such as herons and egrets look for sticks to build their nests.

  • The EQ of dolphins is also the highest, apart from humans’, at 5.3.
  • In fact, some scientists suspect that dolphins are the smartest non-human animals in the world.
  • Both wild and captive Asian elephants use branches to swat flies or scratch themselves.
  • Chimps are master tool-users and have been known to use stones to crack open nuts, and to use sticks and grass to “fish” for crawly snacks like ants and termites.
  • Elephants are among the most intelligent animals in the world, with brains larger than those of any other land animal.

Elephants have exceptional memories, cooperate with each other, and demonstrate self-awareness. Healthy animals should only receive antibiotics to prevent disease if it has been diagnosed in other animals in the same flock, herd, or fish population. Over-use and misuse of antibiotics in animals and humans is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance.

Ravens And Crows

Prior to laying their eggs on a vertical rock face, male and female whitetail major damselfish clean the site by sand-blasting it. The fish pick up sand in their mouths and spit it against the rock face. Finally they remove the sand grains that remain stuck to the rock face by picking them off with their mouths. A Crested where can you buy ladybugs lark has been photographed apparently holding in its bill a stone chip it was reportedly using to dislodge prey from paving joints. Others, for example Lawick-Goodall, distinguish between «tool use» and «object use». Sea otters are still recovering from the brink of extinction, and you can learn more about their survival here.

Our Closest Cousins Often Use Tools To Collect Food

Palm cockatoos have also been known to pad their beaks with leaves to twist open nuts, like a human would use a towel to improve traction when opening a soda bottle. African Greys and Cockatoos have been known to use objects to scratch the backs of their heads. An octopus that uses coconut shells as portable armor is the latest addition to a growing list of tool users in the animal kingdom. These new findings are apparently the first reported instance of an invertebrate that acquires tools for later use. Dolphins are renowned as brainiacs of the seas, and scientists recently discovered they can be tool-using workaholics as well.

259 Animals Using Tools Stock Photos, Vectors, And Illustrations Are Available Royalty

Wild chimpanzees predominantly use tools in the context of food acquisition, while wild bonobos appear to use tools mainly for personal care and social purposes. Wild bonobos have been observed using leaves as cover for rain, or the use of branches in social displays. While young birds in the wild normally learn to make stick tools from elders, a laboratory New Caledonian crow named «Betty» was filmed spontaneously improvising a hooked tool from a wire.

In contrast, it takes human babies several months to understand reflection. Pigs also understand abstract representations and can apply this skill to play video games using a joystick. Social skills, emotional capacity, problem-solving, and mathematical ability also indicate intelligence. Animal intelligence is hard to pin down because «intelligence» takes different forms. Examples of types of intelligence include language comprehension, self-recognition, cooperation, altruism, problem-solving, and mathematics skills. It’s easy to recognize intelligence in other primates, but there are many other species that may be smarter than you think.

Different terms have been given to the tool according to whether the tool is altered by the animal. If the «tool» is not held or manipulated by the animal in any way, such as an immobile anvil, objects in a bowerbird’s bower, or a bird using bread as bait to catch fish, it is sometimes referred to as a «proto-tool». The process of carrying the coconuts is a burden, but it pays off thanks to the protection it can offer. This moment of vulnerability is worth it for the long-term advantage of having a makeshift suit of armor to hide inside.


In a lab experiment, four different crows deduced that they could access larvae in a box if they combined several short sticks into a singular long one in order to push the larvae out of the box and eat them. Sponging has only been observed in Australian dolphins; a similar strategy, using empty conch shells rather than sponges, has been reported in other dolphin populations. Parrots may be the most intelligent birds in the world, and examples of their use of tools are numerous. Some pet owners may discover this firsthand when a trickster bird uses a piece of metal or plastic to lift open its cage lock.

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