Animal intelligence

Posted on October 20, 2008


In the middle of our backyard stands a walnut tree. This being autumn, it has lost its leaves. Right now, there is a small flock of crows throwing the leaves around in the effort to find the nuts lying under them. Once they find them they fly off with them to another corner of the garden where they dig a small hole in which they store the nut to come back for it when the food gets much scarcer during winter. Very clever, really. Except that in a fork of the tree sits a large wire mesh basket full to the brim of the nuts that I and my daughter had gathered. The crows hardly bother to look into it, concentrating all their efforts on the nuts on the ground. Then again, maybe they figure it will be dead easy to find the basket once the snow falls while the nuts on the ground would be much harder to spot, so that’s why they go for those now. After all, that’s pretty much what my daughter and I did.

Posted in: cognition, naturalism