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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)
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 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)
The increasing miniaturisation of animal-tracking technology has made it possible to gather exceptionally detailed machine-sensed data on the social dynamics of almost entire populations of individuals, in both terrestrial and aquatic study systems. Here, we review important issues concerning the collection of such data, and their processing and analysis,(More)
New Caledonian Crows Corvus moneduloides are known to be extraordinary tool makers and users, but little is known of other aspects of their biology. Here, we report recent field observations of their behaviour and ecology, along with measurements of 19 morphological traits and two flight performance parameters taken from 22 captured Crows. These(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)
New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) are prolific tool users in captivity and in the wild, and have an inherited predisposition to express tool-oriented behaviours. To further understand the evolution and development of tool use, we compared the development of object manipulation in New Caledonian crows and common ravens (Corvus corax), which do not(More)
Only a handful of bird species are known to use foraging tools in the wild. Amongst them, the New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides) stands out with its sophisticated tool-making skills. Despite considerable speculation, the evolutionary origins of this species' remarkable tool behaviour remain largely unknown, not least because no naturally tool-using(More)