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BACKGROUND Using tools to act on non-food objects--for example, to make other tools--is considered to be a hallmark of human intelligence, and may have been a crucial step in our evolution. One form of this behaviour, 'sequential tool use', has been observed in a number of non-human primates and even in one bird, the New Caledonian crow (Corvus(More)
New Caledonian crows, Corvus moneduloides, are the most advanced avian tool makers and tool users. We previously reported that captive-bred isolated New Caledonian crows spontaneously use twig tools and cut tools out of Pandanus spp. tree leaves, an activity possibly under cultural influence in the wild. However, what aspects of these behaviours are(More)
New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) are the most prolific avian tool-users. Regional variation in the shape of their tools may be the result of cumulative cultural evolution--a phenomenon considered to be a hallmark of human culture. Here we show that hand-raised juvenile New Caledonian crows spontaneously manufacture and use tools, without any(More)
their mothers. While this might sound unpleasant for the mothers, their milky skin is specially modified for its role in rearing, and mothers are totally unhurt by their rapacious offspring. Although this maternal dermatophagy and extended parental care was only discovered very recently, it may be quite widespread in caecilians and appears to have been(More)
New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) are renowned for using tools for extractive foraging, but the ecological context of this unusual behavior is largely unknown. We developed miniaturized, animal-borne video cameras to record the undisturbed behavior and foraging ecology of wild, free-ranging crows. Our video recordings enabled an estimate of the(More)
Humans are expert tool users, who manipulate objects with dextrous hands and precise visual control. Surprisingly, morphological predispositions, or adaptations, for tool use have rarely been examined in non-human animals. New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides use their bills to craft complex tools from sticks, leaves and other materials, before(More)
Tool use is so rare in the animal kingdom that its evolutionary origins cannot be traced with comparative analyses. Valuable insights can be gained from investigating the ecological context and adaptive significance of tool use under contemporary conditions, but obtaining robust observational data is challenging. We assayed individual-level tool-use(More)
New Caledonian (NC) crows Corvus moneduloides are the most prolific avian tool users. In the wild, they use at least three distinct tool types to extract invertebrate prey from deadwood and vegetation, with some of their tools requiring complex manufacture, modification and/or deployment. Experiments with captive-bred, hand-raised NC crows have demonstrated(More)