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Nothing stops a cockatoo, not even a trash can

Nothing stops a cockatoo, not even a trash can

This proven method also works in cockatoos, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Sciences Who looks at litter boxes in Sydney to document an examplesocial education in the animal kingdom.

It all started when the world ofAustralian Museum On his phone, he photographed a crested sulfur parrot opening a trash can with its beak and claw to feed on its contents.

It piqued our interest because it was an innovation and a new way to access resources in the city., tells AFP Barbara Clamp, of the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior, lead author of the study.

The researchers realized that this was a rare opportunity to study the transmission of new knowledge in the animal world.

Parrot cousins, known for their towering crests and great intelligence, They are found all over the east coast of Australia and the chests are exactly the same everywhere, ideal conditions for a life-size experiment, according to the researcher.

But first, you had to find out if other cockatoos knew how to open up these precious stores.

In an online survey, researchers asked residents of Greater Sydney and the Wollongong (south) region if and when they had witnessed the feat.

Their responses showed that in 2018 cockatoos were caught red-handed in only three neighbourhoods, while by the end of 2019 this practice was observed in 44 of them.

A more detailed analysis confirmed that the technique first spread to the neighborhoods of the first districts, and then spread further, which made it possible to rule out chance intervention.

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To better understand this phenomenon, the team took a closer look at cockatoos in action and realized how difficult it is to open the trash when they are winged.

In a certain group, only 10% of these birds succeeded in opening trash cans, and the others benefited from the efforts of these birds. Pioneers.

The maneuver of the most talented consists of five steps: lift the lid, open it slightly, ram it, move towards the hinge to open it wider, turn it over.

At each step, researchers noticed differences: some cockatoos opened the lid at the level of the handle, others were closer to the edges, others tilted their heads during manipulation … The differences were related to geography, with certain techniques very localized in certain areas.

Show the presence of local subcultures, where there may be local traditions.Barbara Clamp said.

Such differences have already been observed in other animals, especially in monkeys or whales, whose voices can vary by region, like local dialects.

This study adds a line to the long list of proven talents of cockatoos – who can solve complex puzzles or dance to the beat of music – and demonstrates their adaptability in an urban environment.

But these birds are not only well-made heads, they are also very social.

During the day, they stay in small groups, of about five, but in the evening, they form large groups of 50 to 500 birds. For Barbara Clamp, tips will likely be exchanged in small groups.

They care about each other, learn from each other and pass on their knowledge… It’s interesting to see how they are similar to us in some ways..

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