Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

A novel form of spontaneous tool use displayed by several captive greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Abstract

Parrots are frequently cited for their sophisticated problem-solving abilities, but cases of habitual tool use among psittacines are scarce. We report the first evidence, to our knowledge, of tool use by greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa). Several members of a captive population spontaneously adopted a novel tool-using technique by using pebbles and date pits either (i) to scrape on the inner surface of seashells, subsequently licking the resulting calcium powder from the tool, or (ii) as a wedge to break off smaller pieces of the shell for ingestion. Tool use occurred most frequently just prior to the breeding season, during which time numerous instances of tool transfer were also documented. These observations provide newinsights into the tool-using capabilities of parrots and highlight the greater vasa parrot as a species of interest for studies of physical cognition.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number20150861
Number of pages4
JournalBiology Letters
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

    Research areas

  • physical cognition, tool use, parrot, object manipulation, CHIMPANZEES

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Function and flexibility of object exploration in kea and new caledonian crows

    Lambert, M. L., Schiestl, M., Schwing, R., Taylor, A. H., Gajdon, G. K., Slocombe, K. E. & Seed, A. M. 27 Sep 2017 In : Royal Society Open Science. 4, 9, 170652

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Diffusion of novel foraging behaviour in Amazon parrots through social learning

    Picard, A. M., Hogan, L., Lambert, M. L., Wilkinson, A., Seed, A. M. & Slocombe, K. Mar 2017 In : Animal Cognition. 20, 2, p. 285-298 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. An ‘unkindness’ of ravens? Measuring prosocial preferences in Corvus corax

    Lambert, M. L., Massen, J. J. M., Seed, A. M., Bugnyar, T. & Slocombe, K. E. Jan 2017 In : Animal Behaviour. 123, p. 383-393 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Knowing without knowing: implicit cognition and the minds of infants and animals

    Gomez, J-C., Kersken, V. A., Ball, D. N. & Seed, A. M. 2017 In : Estudios de Psicología. 38, 1, p. 37-62 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Future thinking: children but not apes consider multiple possibilities

    Seed, A. M. & Dickerson, K. L. 11 Jul 2016 In : Current Biology. 26, 13, p. R525-R527 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Related by journal

  1. Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae)

    Fedorova, N., Evans, C. L. & Byrne, R. W. 8 Mar 2017 In : Biology Letters. 13, 3, 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Testing for departure from uniformity and estimating mean direction for circular data

    Ruxton, G. D. 18 Jan 2017 In : Biology Letters. 13, 1, 4 p., 20160756

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    Grecian, W. J., Witt, M. J., Attrill, M. J., Bearhop, S., Becker, P. H., Egevang, C., Furness, R. W., Godley, B. J., González-Solís, J., Grémillet, D., Kopp, M., Lescroël, A., Matthiopoulos, J., Patrick, S. C., Peter, H-U., Phillips, R. A., Stenhouse, I. J. & Voltier, S. C. 16 Aug 2016 In : Biology Letters. 12, 8, 5 p., 20160024

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Activity profiles and hook-tool use of New Caledonian crows recorded by bird-borne video cameras

    Troscianko, J. & Rutz, C. 23 Dec 2015 In : Biology Letters. 11, 12, 20150777

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Ruxton, G. D. (Editor)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  2. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Shuker, D. M. (Member of editorial board)
    2011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  3. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Spencer, K. A. (Member of editorial board)
    1 Apr 2011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  4. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Richard William Byrne (Member of editorial board)
    20072012

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  5. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Ritchie, M. G. (Editor)
    20052010

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

ID: 246033853