TOOLS AND BRAINS IN BIRDS by LOUIS LEFEBVRE 1) , NEKTARIA NICOLAKAKIS and DENIS BOIRE 2,3,4) ( 1 Department of Biology, McGill University and 2 Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada) (Acc. 14-V-2002) Summary Tools are traditionally de ned as objects that are used as an extension of the body and held directly in the hand or mouth. By these standards, a vulture breaking an egg by hitting it with a stone uses a tool, but a gull dropping an egg on a rock does not. This distinction between true and borderline (or proto-tool) cases has been criticized for its arbitrariness and anthropocentrism. We show here that relative size of the neostriatum and whole brain distinguish the true and borderline categories in birds using tools to obtain food or water. From two sources, the specialized literature on tools and an innovation data base gathered in the short note sections of 68 journals in 7 areas of the world, we collected 39 true ( e.g . use of probes, hammers, sponges, scoops) and 86 borderline ( e.g . bait shing, battering and dropping on anvils, holding with wedges and skewers) cases of tool use
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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