Cockatoos and Wild Dogs of ...

9 Sep 2017

At https://phys.org/print423838388.html ...  a clever cockatoo. It was able to bend a pipe cleaner in order to retrieve a small out of reach basket with a handle from out of a glass tube out of reach of its claws or beak.

     ... This appears to be more advanced than young human children, on the face of the evidence - but is that true. The cockatoos hail from New Caledonia and are specialised tool users and the ability appears to reflect cognitive capabilities in birds - such as crows in Britain. Crows use tools - so too do thrushes (to crack open snails). The idea of bending a piece of wire or a pipe cleaner, as a tool, may however be related to the techniques used by birds in building their nests - in which grasses and stems are bent to achieve symmetry. Difficult one to call.

Another interesting story is on co-ordinated animal behaviour - this time with African hunting dogs (in a pack). See https://phys.org/print423838458.html ... and in this instance the dogs used sneezing, or a cough like noise, to communicate with the pack leader. So, when your pet dog whines or sneezes when he thinks its time for you to take him for his daily walk, you now know that it may go back to the era preceding human involvement in the life and well being of dogs.