London: Parrots are a lot smarter than previously thought. In a test that puzzled monkeys and defeated dogs, parrots passed with flying colours.
The test was taken by male and female African greys, a class of parrots from a rescue centre, who did as well as three-year-old children.
Pieces of walnut were hidden inside one of two opaque containers. One or both were then shaken and the birds, which are used to the idea of the containers holding treats, used their beak to upend the one with the hidden walnut 70 to 80 percent of the time.
This suggested they were able to link the rattling of the walnut pieces with the presence of food. And perhaps, more importantly, when just the empty container was shaken, to realise the lack of noise meant the treat must be in the other tube, the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B reported.
The University of Vienna team, which carried out the research said the results were remarkable, adding that the parrots did as well as three-year-old children, according to the Daily Mail.
Researcher Christian Schloegl said: "Such behaviour has so far been shown only in great apes but not in any other non-human animal."