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Scientists have taught a cockatoo to make tools for the production of food

Ученые научили какаду мастерить инструменты для добычи едыUnusual achievement can boast of the staff of the University of Vienna.

Ornithologists from the University of Vienna found that the Goffin cockatoo is capable of making tools (make hook from wire and, conversely, to straighten a bent wire) to get food from hard to reach places. Thus, unlike other birds, the cockatoo Goffin in nature there is no experience with similar items. They bend branches to build a nest and don’t usually make curved tools, in order to get food. A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The Goffin cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana) lives in rainforests on the Islands of Tanimbar, located near New Guinea. They Lodge in hollows of trees and feed mostly on seeds. Until now, ornithologists have not seen a cockatoo did and used guns to get food. But, as found by the authors in their previous works, in captivity, C. goffiniana picked up the sticks the right length to reach food and learned how to open the locks on the box, which was their favorite nuts. It was discovered that birds have the self – control- they successfully participated in the analogue of the marshmallow experiment and could not eat delicacy almost a minute and a half to exchange it for even more tasty.

In the new study, the watchers decided to check whether the Goffin cockatoos solve the problem of how to get a treat with a wire hook. Previously, similar experiments were carried out with the participation of new Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) and rooks (Corvus frugilegus) and they have successfully solved the problem. But later it turned out that crows living in the wild, make instruments from bent branches, and the rooks, making nests, put them in the bent branches. Therefore, it is unclear whether birds that participated in cognitive experiments and used to make tools, inherited this ability, or guessed themselves, whether the role played by both factors.

Therefore, the authors of a new article before long I watched Goffin cockatoo of living in nature, and have not noticed that the birds were bent or unbent branches and made them tools. And then, scientists have conducted experiments with the participation of 13 birds raised in captivity. The researchers emphasize that prior to the research these cockatoos are not faced with flexible materials and used bent wire hooks.

Ornithologists have designed two experiments – the bending of the wire, and back on her extension. During the experiments, birds were supposed to get the cashew or from high vertical, or out of a long transparent horizontal tube. So they can reach the treat, the birds were offered a choice of the same color and length of thread and wire. In the experiment on the bending of the wire for the birds to get a nut from the vertical tube, it was necessary to do at the end of the wire hook. In the experiment on the extension of the wire to get the nut of the horizontal tube cockatoo had to straighten a bent wire to push the nut out.

Before the start of cockatoo introduced from the experimental devices and allowed to get used to them. Then the birds were divided into two groups: experimental, consisting of seven birds, and control, in which there were six cockatoos. Birds in the experimental group before the test was introduced to ready the guns and showed how they operate. Birds from the control group left in the dark.

It turned out that none of Kakadu failed to solve the problem of the bending of the wire at the first attempt. But after several attempts, three birds also learn to get a nut from the vertical tube. Two of them were experimental, “prepared” group and one from the control group. In the experiment on the extension of the wire none of the birds were also unable to get a nut from. But after several unsuccessful attempts, three cockatoos (all from the experimental group) were able to push the nut out of the tube. One of the birds successfully completed both experiments.

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