Innovation race between humans and birds

It all started with these covered trash cans. One might think that these lids closing on him as soon as he released them would have surprised the bird: on the contrary, the bird learned to push the lid with its beak, and move over the edge of the box, so as to raise the lid high enough that it eventually falls on the other side. This leaves room free for the bird to fetch food from the litter.

Humans thought that placing bricks or rocks on the covers would suffice: some birds had learned to push bricks. This is what inspired researchers to coin the term “innovation race” in which they used it their posts. Published on September 12 in the magazine current biology.

Moreover, the first “sulfur-topped cockatoo” found a trick that transmitted it to others who observed it, and as a result, from one area to another, one finds that the techniques for opening the cap may differ (with the beak, with the beak and the leg, moving a certain way, etc. that). The researchers, led by biologist Barbara Clamp, observed about 3,200 rubbish bins In four neighborhoods in the suburbs of SydneyAustralia.

It should be noted that the residents were limited in their “innovations” of municipal regulations: the trunk lid must not be closed by anything, such as a lock, that prevents it from opening when the dump truck lifts it. Brick is characterized by falling on its own. Some humans stuffed objects on the back of the cap – like a long stick or even a shoe – to make it more difficult to open. It is not clear if this innovation will succeed in outperforming the birds.

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Finally, biologists Still not surprised. The budgie is a cousin of the budgie and is known, like crows, for cognitive abilities that surpass that of an ordinary bird. But such a rapid adaptability, not in a single bird but in a population, is something new, at least outside of controlled laboratory experiments.

Header image and video: Barbara Clamb/Current Biology

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