Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Tool use by wild New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides at natural foraging sites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Author(s)

Lucas A. Bluff, Jolyon Troscianko, Alex A. S. Weir, Alex Kacelnik, Christian Rutz

School/Research organisations

Abstract

New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides use tools made from sticks or leaf stems to 'fish' woodboring beetle larvae from their burrows in decaying wood. Previous research on this behaviour has been confined to baited sites, leaving its ecological context and significance virtually unexplored. To obtain detailed observations of natural, undisturbed tool use, we deployed motion-triggered video cameras at seven larva-fishing sites. From 1797 camera hours of surveillance over 111 days, we recorded 317 site visits by at least 14 individual crows. Tool use was observed during 150 site visits. Our video footage revealed notable variation in foraging success among identifiable crows. Two nutritionally independent, immature crows spent considerable time using tools, but were much less successful than local adults, highlighting the potential role of individual and social learning in the acquisition of tool-use proficiency. During systematic surveys of larva-fishing sites, we collected 193 tools that crows had left inserted in larva burrows. Comparing these tools with the holes in which they were found, and with raw materials available around logs, provides evidence for tool selectivity by New Caledonian crows under natural conditions. Taken together, these two complementary lines of investigation provide, to our knowledge, the first quantitative description of larva fishing by wild crows in its full ecological context.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1385
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume277
Issue number1686
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2010

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Raptor research during the COVID-19 pandemic provides invaluable opportunities for conservation biology

    Sumasgutner, P., Buij, R., McClure, C. J. W., Shaw, P., Dykstra, C. R., Kumar, N. & Rutz, C., 28 Apr 2021, In: Biological Conservation. 109149.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. A deepening understanding of animal culture suggests lessons for conservation

    Brakes, P., Carroll, E. L., Dall, S., Keith, S., McGregor, P., Mesnick, S., Noad, M., Rendell, L., Robbins, M., Rutz, C., Thorton, A., Whiten, A., Whiting, M., Aplin, L., Bearhop, S., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Simmonds, M. & 5 others, Spina, F., Wade, P., Whithead, H., Williams, J. & Garland, E. C., 28 Apr 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1949, 10 p., 20202718.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  3. A standardisation framework for bio-logging data to advance ecological research and conservation

    Sequeira, A. M. M., O’Toole, M., Keates, T. R., McDonnell, L. H., Braun, C. D., Hoenner, X., Jaine, F. R. A., Jonsen, I. D., Newman, P., Pye, J., Bograd, S. J., Hays, G. C., Hazen, E. L., Holland, M., Tsontos, V., Blight, C., Cagnacci, F., Davidson, S. C., Dettki, H., Duarte, C. M. & 22 others, Dunn, D. C., Eguíluz, V. M., Fedak, M., Gleiss, A. C., Hammerschlag, N., Hindell, M. A., Holland, K., Janekovic, I., McKinzie, M. K., Muelbert, M. M. C., Pattiaratchi, C., Rutz, C., Sims, D. W., Simmons, S. E., Townsend, B., Whoriskey, F., Woodward, B., Costa, D. P., Heupel, M. R., McMahon, C. R., Harcourt, R. & Weise, M., 1 Apr 2021, In: Methods in Ecology and Evolution. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. A genome-wide investigation of adaptive signatures in protein-coding genes related to tool behaviour in New Caledonian and Hawaiian crows

    Dussex, N., Kutschera, V. E., Wiberg, R. A. W., Parker, D. J., Hunt, G. R., Gray, R. D., Rutherford, K., Abe, H., Fleischer, R. C., Ritchie, M. G., Rutz, C., B.Wolf, J. & Gemmell, N. J., Feb 2021, In: Molecular Ecology. 30, 4, p. 973-986

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Ethology adopts the STRANGE framework for animal behaviour research, to improve reporting standards

    Rutz, C. & Webster, M. M., Feb 2021, In: Ethology. 127, 2, p. 99-101

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Kate Arnold (Reviewer)

    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Michael Gordon Ritchie (Editor)

    20102011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Member of editorial board)

    2009 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Iain McCombe Matthews (Editor)

    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. A deepening understanding of animal culture suggests lessons for conservation

    Brakes, P., Carroll, E. L., Dall, S., Keith, S., McGregor, P., Mesnick, S., Noad, M., Rendell, L., Robbins, M., Rutz, C., Thorton, A., Whiten, A., Whiting, M., Aplin, L., Bearhop, S., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Simmonds, M. & 5 others, Spina, F., Wade, P., Whithead, H., Williams, J. & Garland, E. C., 28 Apr 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1949, 10 p., 20202718.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  2. Aerial photogrammetry and tag-derived tissue density reveal patterns of lipid-store body condition of humpback whales on their feeding grounds

    Aoki, K., Isojunno, S., Bellot, C., Iwata, T., Kershaw, J. L., Akiyama, Y., Martín López, L. M., Ramp, C., Biuw, M., Swift, R. J., Wensveen, P., Pomeroy, P., Narazaki, T., Hall, A. J., Sato, K. & Miller, P., 27 Jan 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1943, 10 p., 20202307.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Deep-diving beaked whales dive together but forage apart

    Alcázar-Treviño, J., Johnson, M., Arranz, P., Warren, V. E., Pérez-González, C. J., Marques, T., Madsen, P. T. & Aguilar de Soto, N., 13 Jan 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1942, 20201905.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Eusociality through conflict dissolution

    Gonzalez Forero, M. & Peña, J., 28 Apr 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1949, 8 p., 20210386.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Hearing sensitivity and amplitude coding in bats are differentially shaped by echolocation calls and social calls

    Lattenkamp, E. Z., Nagy, M., Drexl, M., Vernes, S. C., Wiegrebe, L. & Knörnschild, M., 13 Jan 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1942, 10 p., 20202600.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 23997031

Top