Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Betty The Crow Is Right-Handed

06.04.2004


New Caledonian crows, known to be very proficient tool-users, have a preferred way of holding their tools comparable to the way humans are either right- or left-handed, according to research by Oxford zoologists, recently published in ’Biology Letters’.


Crow using dowelling to extract mealworms from a hole; holding it with the non-working end against its right cheek Credit: University of Oxford JPG



Studying the tool use of 10 captive New Caledonian crows, the researchers found that each bird had a consistent preference for holding a piece of dowelling either near its left or its right cheek when trying to retrieve mealworms from a hole in a piece of wood. Five of the birds preferred to use tools left-laterally, and five right but laterality did not obviously differ between male and female crows.

The findings are surprising as it is rare to find animals with such exclusive lateral preferences for manipulative tasks. Only 50 per cent of chimpanzees, for example, are committed to always using the same hand for tool use.


Mr Alex Weir of the Behavioural Ecology Research Group at the Oxford University’s Department of Zoology said: ’Our results show that individuals have very strongly preferred ways to hold tools but there is no apparent population preference. This result is still preliminary, since the sample size is too small to firmly conclude that there is not population-level laterality.

’However these results appear to contrast with other research, which showed that crows have a population-level bias for manufacturing tools, suggesting that the manufacturing and use of tools in this species may have different neural underpinnings.’

Barbara Hott | alfa
Further information:
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~kgroup/tools/laterality.html

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>