Monday, July 7, 2008

TEDTalks : The amazing intelligence of crows - Joshua Klein

Joshua Klein makes a very good point about how we focus on animals that are facing extinction, and don't focus on those animals that are adapting and surviving, animals like cockroaches, rats and crows. I've always wondered how we'd react to those animals if they were cute, furry and had great big round eyes

He set about to discover why and how crows are adapting to life around modern humans.

He discovered that crows are doing more than surviving around humans, they are thriving around them. The birds are adapting in ways that boggle the mind. He demonstrates in this video that crows are highly intelligent animals that can be trained to do fairly complex tasks.

I am thoroughly impressed by his suggestion that rather than focussing on eradicating crows, we should look at finding ways that their innate intelligence can be used to help us. He suggests that crows could be trained to pick up garbage after a ball game, or to pick out certain parts from discarded electronics.


christinemm said...

That was a great talk.

I had read some articles about crows in the past. I read that they can learn what a gun is and what it does (in farm life, when farmers would shoot the crows). They knew the difference between the farm wife/woman who didn't try to harm them in the past and the man/farmer with gun.

Also I had read of a crow lover who fed the crows in the morning. But if he didn't feed them they would then attack his windshield as he tried to leave to go to work. They learned his face and the routine.

I think people know so little about animals and birds. Maybe their birdsong truly is their language and it really means something different to them than we know about.

I also recall scientists saying that nothing could live in the deep ocean due to gasses down there. Yet later when new equipment could dive down that far they found species that could ONLY live right where the poisonous gasses were venting out. Just because they weren't living just like the creatures in the upper ocean doesn't mean they didn't exist...

Apply this to thoughts of life elsewhere in the universe...

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, I discovered this TEDTalk the same week that we had already rented Hitchcock's "The Birds." What a great movie... though a little gorrier than I remember... LOL