Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Animal tool-use

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access permissions

Open

Abstract

The sight of an animal making and using a tool captivates scientists and laymen alike, perhaps because it forces us to question some of our ideas about human uniqueness. Does the animal know how the tool works? Did it anticipate the need for the tool and make it in advance? To some, this fascination with tools seems arbitrary and anthropocentric; after all, animals engage in many other complex activities, like nest building, and we know that complex behaviour need not be cognitively demanding. But tool-using behaviour can also provide a powerful window into the minds of living animals, and help us to learn what capacities we share with them - and what might have changed to allow for the incontrovertibly unique levels of technology shown by modern humans.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1032-R1039
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume20
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Dec 2010

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Machiavellian Intelligence retrospective

    Byrne, R. W. 18 Nov 2018 In : Journal of Comparative Psychology. 132, 4, p. 432-436 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Subproblem learning and reversal of a multidimensional visual cue in a lizard: evidence for behavioural flexibility?

    Szabo, B., Noble, D. W. A., Byrne, R. W., Tait, D. S. & Whiting, M. J. Oct 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 144, p. 17-26 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. The role of association in pre-schoolers' solutions to "spoon tests" of future planning

    Dickerson, K. L., Ainge, J. A. & Seed, A. M. 23 Jul 2018 In : Current Biology. 28, 14, p. 2309-2313

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Current Biology (Journal)

    Kate Arnold (Reviewer)
    2007 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Current Biology (Journal)

    Byrne, R. W. (Member of editorial board)
    20052014

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

Related by journal

  1. Bonobos prefer individuals that hinder others over those that help

    Krupenye, C. & Hare, B. 22 Jan 2018 In : Current Biology. 28, 2, p. 280-286 e5

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Chimpanzees consider humans' psychological states when drawing statistical inferences

    Eckert, J., Rakoczy, H., Call, J., Herrmann, E. & Hanus, D. 18 Jun 2018 In : Current Biology. 28, 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Control of Xenopus tadpole locomotion via selective expression of Ih in excitatory interneurons

    Picton, L. D., Sillar, K. T. & Zhang, H-Y. 17 Dec 2018 In : Current Biology. 28, 24, p. 3911-3923 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Corvid technologies: how do New Caledonian crows get their tool designs?

    Rutz, C., Hunt, G. & St Clair, J. 24 Sep 2018 In : Current Biology. 28, 8, p. R1109-R1111 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

  5. Genome biology: unconventional DNA repair in an extreme genome

    Ferrier, D. E. K. & Sogabe, S. 22 Oct 2018 In : Current Biology. 28, 20, p. R1208-R1210

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

ID: 11366067