Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Crow, Raven and
Other Bird Intelligence Books
Endorsed by Sioux Falls Zoologists

Sioux Falls Zoologists recommends the following 6 books that describe crows, ravens and other birds' intelligence, emotions and behavior and especially the superior intelligence of crows and ravens.

Birds are descendants of the dinosaurs. Their lineage runs back a 100 million years. Their brain structures are somewhat different from ours and more compact. That does not mean they are more intelligent than us, just that they pack more in a smaller package. The premier example of this is the New Caledonian Crow.

Sioux Falls Zoologists thinks there is good evidence that, next to humans, New Caledonian Crows are the smartest creatures on the planet. They make tools, they shape twigs and other objects to go "fishing" for grubs in various cracks and crannies in their environment, and they also teach their fledglings to make these tools. They can solve 3 step and up to 8 step problems where they have to solve each individual step to move on and get to the food in the last step of the problem. They do all this by observation without training, they are what are know as "naive" crows. They figure these multi-step problems out in less than minute. They simply looking at the problems and figure out what they have to do to solve the problems from beginning to end. It's been said they have the problem solving ability of a 6 or 7 year-old human child! Chimps would not have a clue how to solve these problems without step by step human training.

New Caledonian Crows raised from eggs without their crow parents also make tools, which means tool making is in their genetics, but the crows raised without parents don't do as good of a job as parented crows. So the superior tool making ability of the crows is dependent on experience as well as genetics. Genetics and experience work together, just like they do in humans? Of course.

And it gets better. Crows also can identify humans by their faces, and remember by a face of who threatened them and of who has not. And they have many calls, some for various kinds of predators and some for other dangers, yet other calls that appear to be for identification purposes. Also other calls for? Who knows. They are surely not just making noise. They also drop hard food objects in front of car tires at stop signs. After the car leaves, they eat the food. Oysters on the half-shell anyone? They also seem to have some concept of the principle of reciprocity. Some crow flocks have established what appears to be trading relationships with humans, trading objects that humans might find useful in return for food.

The books are all available from Amazon.com but you are free to obtain them from many other sources. Amazon offers them on their website along with many alternate sources, often less expensive. You are free to choose whatever source you please. The book links provided on the following pages point to the book's location at Amazon.

The crows, ravens and other bird books are described in detail on the following 7 pages:

Crow, Raven and
Other Bird Intelligence Books
Endorsed by Sioux Falls Zoologists