Smart Crows

David Trammel's picture

Like many, I've always been fascinated with the seeming intelligence of Crows. Greer once joked that the species which evolves into World dominance once humans are gone, might be crows. Here's a good look at them.

Crows could be the smartest animal other than primates

What struck me about their behavior is that crows may actually like having fun too.

"Crows, in fact, might be like us not so much because they are clever (and so are we) but rather because they sometimes engage their cleverness simply for fun – and so do we.

The crows McCoy studies have a natural curiosity, she says. They cheekily grab scientific equipment and fly off with it in the aviary. Young birds especially, she says, love to play. Humans are not so different, she argues: “We have these incredibly huge brains but we use them to do crossword puzzles – that’s not something that is evolutionarily selected for.”

One could argue that there are utilitarian benefits to such mental exertion. It keeps the mind sharp, it reinforces one’s abilities – all the fitter to survive. But if there is pleasure in it or if it has unexpected effects, one might also say that such activity is just part of what makes life colourful."


Of course, my cats like to play too.

I wonder if a Green Wizard could "teach" a local flock of crows to be useful? Guard crows perhaps?