Crows can solve complex puzzles and scientists think they are as smart as a seven-year-old child.
Now the clever corvids may be able to add football skills and psychic abilities to their list of accomplishments, as two trained crows have undertaken a penalty shootout to predict the winner of the World Cup.
Scientists at the Language, Culture and Cognition lab at the University of Auckland have been studying the intelligence of tool-making New Caledonian crows for over 10 years.
They have shown that crows can use tools to solve eight problems in a row and for fun, thought they would see if the birds could predict the winner of the World Cup.
Two of their best crows, named Ricalli and Crexa were invited to strut their stuff on a miniature football pitch with little goals and crow-sized footballs. In order to make their predictions for which team will win the (real) World Cup, the crows had a penalty shootout by dropping a football down a tube to score a goal – or not. Each time the crows took a shot they got a chunk of fillet steak as a treat.
The creatures first predicted the results of tonight’s semi-final between Brazil and Germany. According to the results of their penalty shoot-out, the hosts are set for a defeat. They also predicted that Argentina will win tomorrow’s clash with the Netherlands, paving the way for a final of Germany vs Argentina. In the final show down, the crows predicted that the South American team will be the ones to lift the famous golden trophy.
‘Who knows, given the form of Messi, they might be right. Are they brainy-birds or bird-brains? We will know soon enough,’ said Dr Alex Taylor, a Lecturer in Evolutionary Psychology based at the university.
He has already shown that crows can solve one of the most complex tests of the animal mind ever to be constructed – and can do so in less than three minutes on camera – a world first… see more
source: Dailymail UK