Document Detail

Extreme binocular vision and a straight bill facilitate tool use in New Caledonian crows.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23047668     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Humans are expert tool users, who manipulate objects with dextrous hands and precise visual control. Surprisingly, morphological predispositions, or adaptations, for tool use have rarely been examined in non-human animals. New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides use their bills to craft complex tools from sticks, leaves and other materials, before inserting them into deadwood or vegetation to extract prey. Here we show that tool use in these birds is facilitated by an unusual visual-field topography and bill shape. Their visual field has substantially greater binocular overlap than that of any other bird species investigated to date, including six non-tool-using corvids. Furthermore, their unusually straight bill enables a stable grip on tools, and raises the tool tip into their visual field's binocular sector. These features enable a degree of tool control that would be impossible in other corvids, despite their comparable cognitive abilities. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence for tool-use-related morphological features outside the hominin lineage.
Jolyon Troscianko; Auguste M P von Bayern; Jackie Chappell; Christian Rutz; Graham R Martin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature communications     Volume:  3     ISSN:  2041-1723     ISO Abbreviation:  Nat Commun     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101528555     Medline TA:  Nat Commun     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1110     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.
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