Crows may learn lessons from death, UW research shows – Seattle Times

It seems that we are constantly reminded of how little we actually know about the natural world. Between a lack of communication with whales and dolphins, to really understanding what crows are able to do.

In recent years, a peculiar sort of public performance has taken place periodically on the sidewalks of Seattle. It begins with a woman named Kaeli N. Swift sprinkling peanuts and cheese puffs on the ground. Crows swoop in to feed on the snacks. While Swift observes the birds from a distance, notebook in hand, another person walks up to the birds, wearing a latex mask and a sign that reads “UW CROW STUDY.” In the accomplice’s hands is a taxidermied crow, presented like a tray of hors d’oeuvres. This performance is not surreal street theater, but an experiment designed to explore a deep biological question: What do crows understand about death? Carl Zimmer reports. (Seattle Times)

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/science/crows-may-learn-lessons-from-death-uw-research-shows/

Crows React to Threats in Human-Like Way – Science Daily

Since we have so many crows up here, some of you might find this interesting. I do!

Cross a crow and it’ll remember you for years. Crows and humans share the ability to recognize faces and associate them with negative, as well as positive, feelings. The way the brain activates during that process is something the two species also appear to share, according to new research being published this week. “The regions of the crow brain that work together are not unlike those that work together in mammals, including humans,” said John Marzluff, University of Washington professor of environmental and forest sciences. “These regions were suspected to work in birds but not documented until now.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911091710.htm

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