Crows Crack the Code, Counting Up to Four, a new study finds

The frequently used adage “bird-brained” may need to be rethought in the light of recent research which has uncovered a remarkable cognitive ability among our avian pals – crows are not only able to count, but can also match their caws with specific numbers, much like a young child learning its numerals.

Crows Crack the Code Counting Up to Four a new study finds

Counting Crows The Baby Steps

This discovery was made by scientists at the University of Tübingen in Germany who were inspired by the way infants learn numbers. If a toddler sees three toys and says “one, one, one”, for example, it seems that these birds could be doing something similar when they make different sounds for different quantities.

Previous studies have shown that animals can count at a basic level – including frogs, chimpanzees and ants among others – but this research points to a more sophisticated understanding of numerals within another species altogether, blurring distinctions between human and non-human thought.

Decoding Crow Counting

They did this by training three carrion crows to use numbers as symbols for caws while responding to both visual and auditory cues during the experiment – such as seeing a certain numeral or hearing a particular drumroll sound before then matching it with their vocalization. So if they were shown “3” this would trigger three calls from them successively. The manner in which these birds responded so accurately planning out what seemed like deliberate mistakes along the way also indicated some parallels with processes seen in humans.

It is worth noting that even their errors were similar to those made by people – sometimes giving too high an answer, hesitating over certain numbers or even making premature responses altogether. Each of these subtle slips thus provided valuable clues about how these animals think thereby establishing a closer kinship between crow and human cognition than had been hitherto suspected.

What does the evidence show about the intelligence of crows?

This new and revolutionary investigation has challenged the old belief that animals are automatic responders. When they encounter objects in their environment, crows think in advanced ways which include planning for future needs and communicating about them using a structured form of language. This might be seen as a prelude to developing speech sounds systems among these creatures, thus calling for more researches.

The experiment also contributes to other studies done before which had indicated how bright these birds could be. They had been found out solving problems, making use of tools such as sticks or wires with hooks on them etcetera even following instructions laid down by an experimenter while carrying out activities within a laboratory setting. Again, this group’s ability to produce different sounds at varied pitches and intensities when singing has always puzzled scientists for years.

A History of Crows Counting

Crows’ cognition of numeral values has been a matter of interest for some time now. It was back in 1968 that Nicholas Thompson first noticed crows apparently regulating the length and number of individual calls made during a given sequence. Furthermore, a study conducted at University of Tübingen five years ago showed how different quantities could be symbolized within their brains.

According to this latest report, however, these birds are able not only to count but also match vocalizations with numerical figures. This goes to prove just how complex these animals’ mental processes can get implying they possess high level thinking capacities similar if not greater than those found in humans.

Future Research on Crow Intelligence

The significance of these findings cannot be overstated. They represent a major breakthrough in our understanding of animal cognition which could ultimately change forever the way we view life on Earth. And while there is still much more that needs to be learned about what makes crows so clever, one thing is certain – this will not be the last time science surprises us with new insights into their amazing abilities.

Also Read – Coding Made Simple­: 20 Generative AI Tools to Boost Efficie­ncy

Finally, the realization that crows are able to count represents a major achievement within the study of animal cognitive abilities; this fact forces us to re-evaluate what we mean by intelligence in other species and recognize how powerful our bird’s brains can be.