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

Year: 2019

Authors: O'Hara, M; Mioduszewska, B; Haryoko, T; Prawiradilaga, DM; Huber, L; Auersperg, A

Title: Extraction without tooling around-The first comprehensive description of the foraging- and socio-ecology of wild Goffin's cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana).

Source: Behaviour 2019; 156: 661-690

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

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

Vetmed Research Units
Messerli Research Institute, Comparative Cognition

Project(s): Tool Manufacture in the Goffin´s cockatoo

Technical Innovativeness in the Goffin’s Cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana)

When tested under laboratory conditions, Goffin's cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana) demonstrate numerous sophisticated cognitive skills. Most importantly, this species has shown the ability to manufacture and use tools. However, little is known about the ecology of these cockatoos, endemic to the Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia. Here we provide first insights into the feeding-and socio-ecology of the wild Goffin's cockatoos and propose potential links between their behaviour in natural settings and their advanced problem-solving capacities shown in captivity. Observational data suggests that Goffin's cockatoos rely on a large variety of partially seasonal resources. Furthermore, several food types require different extraction techniques. These ecological and behavioural characteristics fall in line with current hypotheses regarding the evolution of complex cognition and innovativeness. We discuss how the efficiency of (extractive) foraging may preclude tool use in wild Goffin's cockatoos, even though the corresponding cognitive and ecological prerequisites seem to be present.

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