Document Detail

Spontaneous innovation in tool manufacture and use in a Goffin's cockatoo.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23137681     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Accounts of complex tool innovations in animals, particularly in species not adaptively specialized for doing so, are exceedingly rare and often linked to advanced cognitive abilities in the physical domain [1], even though the relation between such capabilities and intelligence is poorly understood [2]. For this reason, discoveries of such capabilities transcend anecdotal value and contribute significantly to comparative cognition [3-5]. Among birds, there are several reports of tool innovations in corvids, but very few documented records in other families (for example [1,3-7]). Here, we report a case of spontaneous tool innovation in the Goffin's cockatoo (Cacatua goffini), a species endemic to the Tanimbar archipelago in Indonesia. Like most corellas, they live in social groups (∼10-100) in tropical dry forests, roost in simple tree holes, and feed mainly on a seed based diet (which occasionally causes interference with agriculture) [8]. There are no records of tool-related behavior in the wild. We report how a captive male named Figaro successfully, reliably and repeatedly made and used stick-type tools to rake in food, manufacturing them from two different materials and displaying different steps and techniques.
Alice M I Auersperg; Birgit Szabo; Auguste M P von Bayern; Alex Kacelnik
Publication Detail:
Type:  Letter    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current biology : CB     Volume:  22     ISSN:  1879-0445     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-09     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9107782     Medline TA:  Curr Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  R903-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstr 14, 1090, Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:
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