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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2021

Authors: O'Hara, M; Mioduszewska, B; Mundry, R; Yohanna, ; Haryoko, T; Rachmatika, R; Prawiradilaga, DM; Huber, L; Auersperg, AMI

Title: Wild Goffin's cockatoos flexibly manufacture and use tool sets.

Source: Curr Biol. 2021; 31(20):4512-4520.e6

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Auersperg Alice Isabel Marie
Huber Ludwig
Mioduszewska Berenika
Mundry Roger
O'Hara Mark Christopher

Vetmed Research Units
Messerli Research Institute, Comparative Cognition
Platform Bioinformatics and Biostatistics

Project(s): Cognitive ecology of Goffin`s cockatoos (Cacatua Goffiniana)

The innovation problem: factors influencing innovative tool use in humaninfants and cockatoos

CockaTools:Innovative tool use and problem solving in a parrot

The use of different tools to achieve a single goal is considered unique to human and primate technology. To unravel the origins of such complex behaviors, it is crucial to investigate tool use that is not necessary for a species' survival. These cases can be assumed to have emerged innovatively and be applied flexibly, thus emphasizing creativity and intelligence. However, it is intrinsically challenging to record tool innovations in natural settings that do not occur species-wide. Here, we report the discovery of two distinct tool manufacture methods and the use of tool sets in wild Goffin's cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana). Up to three types of wooden tools, differing in their physical properties and each serving a different function, were manufactured and employed to extract embedded seed matter of Cerbera manghas. While Goffin's cockatoos do not depend on tool-obtained resources, repeated observations of two temporarily captive wild birds and indications from free-ranging individuals suggest this behavior occurs in the wild, albeit not species-wide. The use of a tool set in a non-primate implies convergent evolution of advanced tool use. Furthermore, these observations demonstrate how a species without hands can achieve dexterity in a high-precision task. The presence of flexible use and manufacture of tool sets in animals distantly related to humans significantly diversifies the phylogenetic landscape of technology and opens multiple avenues for future research. VIDEO ABSTRACT.Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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