`Crows highly social like humans`

Last Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 10:07

London: Crows are far more socially well connected and seem to share information than suspected, a Scotland research claims, saying they have human-like networks of friends and pass information among each other.

St. Andrews University researchers fitted more than 40 New Caledonian crows with radio tags who were found to spend much more time socializing with other unrelated crows than with their own families.

The crows, from New Caledonia, a remote island in the South Pacific, are renowned for their ability to use tools to get food. Researchers who gave crows backpacks to track their social interaction have found they have human-like networks of friends, and pass information among each other, the journal Current Biology reports.

Researchers who gave crows backpacks to track their social interaction have found they have human-like networks of friends, and pass information among each other, according to the Daily Mail.

Now the St. Andrews team, working with researchers from Washington University, US, say the creatures savviness could stem from their friendliness - suggested that when they meet up they could be passing on tips to each other.

Project leader Christian Rutz, of School of Biology at St. Andrews, said the crows` socializing patterns were like `friendship networks in humans.` "We all know how fast fads can spread, whether it is fashion or music preferences, or new consumer products," he said.

`Whenever two marked crows get close to each other, their tags exchange radio-signals. It is as if the birds are swapping business cards when they meet. The miniature tracking devices, each the weight of a two pound coin, were attached to the birds as back-packs which can both transmit and receive radio-signals, unlike conventional wildlife radio-tags," said Rutz.

The back-packs allowed researchers to study the birds` social relationships and revealed a `surprising` amount of contacts. The study`s main aim is to understand how information on using tools to find food may be shared in wild crow populations.

IANS



First Published: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 10:07

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