Animal behaviour: Use of dung as a tool by burrowing owls

  title={Animal behaviour: Use of dung as a tool by burrowing owls},
  author={D. Levey and R. S. Duncan and C. F. Levins},
  • D. Levey, R. S. Duncan, C. F. Levins
  • Published 2004
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Nature
  • Reports of tool usage by birds tend to be anecdotal as only a few individuals may be involved and the behaviour observed can often be interpreted in other ways. Here we describe the widespread collection of mammalian dung by burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) and show that they use this dung as a bait to attract dung beetles, a major item of prey. Our controlled investigation provides an unambiguous estimate of the importance of tool use in a wild animal. 
    53 Citations

    Figures and Topics from this paper

    Explore Further: Topics Discussed in This Paper

    Use of mammal manure by nesting burrowing owls: a test of four functional hypotheses
    • 27
    • Highly Influenced
    • PDF
    Tool-use in the brown bear (Ursus arctos)
    • V. Deecke
    • Biology, Medicine
    • Animal Cognition
    • 2012
    • 19
    • PDF
    Savanna Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes verus, Hunt with Tools
    • 382
    Collection of Mammal Manure and Other Debris By Nesting Burrowing Owls
    • 7
    • PDF
    Tool use for corpse cleaning in chimpanzees
    • 13
    • PDF


    Shaping of Hooks in New Caledonian Crows
    • 520
    • PDF
    Manufacture and use of hook-tools by New Caledonian crows
    • 463
    • PDF
    Raven tool use
    • 13
    • PDF
    • J . Bot .
    • 2002
    Competing financial interests: declared none. brief communications arising online ➧ Superconductors: Time-reversal symmetry
    • Plant Syst. Evol
    • 1995
    • J . Bot .
    • 1981