Edinburgh Lecture: Selection of plant material by tool-using New Caledonia crows


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20A Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR


Professor Christian Rutz - University of St Andrews


Thursday, 13 December, 2018 - 18:00 - 19:00

Selection of plant material by tool-using New Caledonia crows - a botanical detective story from the South Pacific.

New Caledonian crows use a variety of tools for extracting prey from hiding places in deadwood and vegetation. Their tool repertoire includes: non-hooked stick tools sourced from the forest floor, hooked stick tools crafted from living branched vegetation, and a variety of shapes cut by bill from the barbed leaves of screw pines. The latter two tool types are widely regarded the most sophisticated animal tools yet discovered. Building on extensive field research, this talk will describe how New Caledonian crows select suitable plant materials for tool manufacture, craft different tool types, and use their tools to acquire nutritious out-of-reach prey.

BSS Lectures are held jointly with the Royal Botanic Garden, in their Lecture Theatre at 20A Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR . Doors open at 17:30, lectures commence at 18:00.


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