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A novel form of spontaneous tool use displayed by several captive greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa)

Lambert, Megan L LU ; Seed, Amanda M and Slocombe, Katie E (2015) In Biology Letters 11(12).
Abstract

Parrots are frequently cited for their sophisticated problem-solving abilities, but cases of habitual tool use among psittacines are scarce. We report the first evidence, to our knowledge, of tool use by greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa). Several members of a captive population spontaneously adopted a novel tool-using technique by using pebbles and date pits either (i) to scrape on the inner surface of seashells, subsequently licking the resulting calcium powder from the tool, or (ii) as a wedge to break off smaller pieces of the shell for ingestion. Tool use occurred most frequently just prior to the breeding season, during which time numerous instances of tool transfer were also documented. These observations provide new insights... (More)

Parrots are frequently cited for their sophisticated problem-solving abilities, but cases of habitual tool use among psittacines are scarce. We report the first evidence, to our knowledge, of tool use by greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa). Several members of a captive population spontaneously adopted a novel tool-using technique by using pebbles and date pits either (i) to scrape on the inner surface of seashells, subsequently licking the resulting calcium powder from the tool, or (ii) as a wedge to break off smaller pieces of the shell for ingestion. Tool use occurred most frequently just prior to the breeding season, during which time numerous instances of tool transfer were also documented. These observations provide new insights into the tool-using capabilities of parrots and highlight the greater vasa parrot as a species of interest for studies of physical cognition.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Animal Shells, Animals, Feeding Behavior, Female, Male, Parrots, Tool Use Behavior
in
Biology Letters
volume
11
issue
12
pages
4 pages
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:84951824328
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2015.0861
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
eeb07cc5-2275-4e15-9095-c3dca4784711
date added to LUP
2017-09-06 15:00:41
date last changed
2017-10-22 05:35:41
@article{eeb07cc5-2275-4e15-9095-c3dca4784711,
  abstract     = {<p>Parrots are frequently cited for their sophisticated problem-solving abilities, but cases of habitual tool use among psittacines are scarce. We report the first evidence, to our knowledge, of tool use by greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa). Several members of a captive population spontaneously adopted a novel tool-using technique by using pebbles and date pits either (i) to scrape on the inner surface of seashells, subsequently licking the resulting calcium powder from the tool, or (ii) as a wedge to break off smaller pieces of the shell for ingestion. Tool use occurred most frequently just prior to the breeding season, during which time numerous instances of tool transfer were also documented. These observations provide new insights into the tool-using capabilities of parrots and highlight the greater vasa parrot as a species of interest for studies of physical cognition.</p>},
  author       = {Lambert, Megan L and Seed, Amanda M and Slocombe, Katie E},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  keyword      = {Animal Shells,Animals,Feeding Behavior,Female,Male,Parrots,Tool Use Behavior},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {4},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology Letters},
  title        = {A novel form of spontaneous tool use displayed by several captive greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0861},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2015},
}