Crow Smarts

Crow Smarts


You and your classmates can explore animal intelligence, tool use, and habits of minds of scientists through these discussion questions.

Are Crows the Ultimate Problem Solvers?

Who is 007 and why is Alex interested in him?


What is different for 007 about this experimental set-up?


How many steps are there in the puzzle?


What is 007’s first move?


Stage 1 involves what object?


What does 007 discover about the first object?


What does 007 do next?


There is a turning point in the 007’s behavior when he appears to understand moving all stones to the box will produce an effect that will help him get the food. Describe the behavior you see at this turning point moment.


What might a scientist call this moment?


What happens when all the stones are moved into the box, and why how does it solve 007’s problem?


Planning is considered an advanced form of thinking. Have you ever had an experience in which it was clear to you that an animal—your pet, or a crow you were watching—was planning?


What is your evidence for your conclusion that the animal was planning?



Crow versus grub

What are some comments the 007 researcher, Alex, might make about the video we just watched?


What are some of the steps involved in tool-using and tool-making?


Is the sequence of steps important? Why or why not?


If you wanted to recreate the set-up seen in the wild in a lab to test 10 crows, what would you need? One log? Leaves—wet or dry? What kind? What kinds of sticks? Or are leaf stems sufficient? A food reward?



dr. Gavin Hunt Explains

Would a corn leaf be a good substitute?


How about a maple leaf? A blade of grass?


Why or why not?




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