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Cockatoo Manufactures, Uses Tools

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the already-smarter-than-my-neighbor dept.

Science 75

grrlscientist writes with news of a cockatoo named Figaro, who was observed to construct and use his own tools to retrieve objects that were outside of his cage. Quoting: "One day, a student caregiver noticed Figaro pushing a stone pebble through the aviary wire mesh, where it fell on a wood structural beam. Unable to retrieve the stone with his foot, Figaro then fetched a piece of bamboo and again attempted to retrieve the stone using the bamboo stick. ... During the next three days, the researchers ran trials of the original scenario, which was repeated ten times but substituting a cashew nut for the pebble. All trials were captured on video and the process of tool manufacture and use was documented photographically. ... 'Figaro made a new tool for every nut we placed there and each time the bird was successful in obtaining it,' reports cognitive biologist Alice Auersperg of the University of Vienna, who led the study (PDF). During these trials, Figaro used 10 tools, nine of which he manufactured and one of which was ready-made."

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Tools reclassified again? (3, Informative)

Mogusha (1091607) | about 2 years ago | (#41945665)

I remember reading an article about how dragonflies were using stones to tap down their nests making it harder for predators to find. The result was a reclassification on what constituted a tool removing the dragonflies from being classified as tool users.
Many animals use tools. So, I don't really see how this is news worthy other than that the bird learned to build them on its own without help from other birds.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (4, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#41945683)

Uh oh, the cockatoo just used bamboo to log into slashdot and read that comment and it appears he's devising a spear-like weapon and a lock pick for the cage door. Watch your ass! You pissed him off, lol.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41945965)

Shivs are among the first tools produced in prison environments, so I'd watch my back...

Re:Tools reclassified again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946237)

and butthole.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946819)

Yep. Penises are among the first shivs produced in prison environments.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41948153)

Of course, and if you shower in a prison environment. you're sure to see a cockatoo.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#41947309)

They don't need weapons. Take a look at that beak.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (5, Insightful)

dotHectate (975458) | about 2 years ago | (#41945763)

There's been a lot of back and forth revision of the definition over the years. I remember it was originally something like "Any object used outside of its natural scope to achieve a goal." Then people realized this meant otters used stones as tools to open clams so it became "Any object that has been modified to increase efficiency for a purpose outside of its natural scope." Then we had video of apes stripping leaves from branches to stick them in anthills... and the revision continues on ad infinitum because heaven forbid that humans have to share the title of "Tool-maker/user" with lesser beings.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (3, Interesting)

wwalker (159341) | about 2 years ago | (#41946131)

Not sure if you realize it, but you just described how science works in general. Especially physics, and to some degree, math. We observe the world around us and come up with a theory that describes it. Then someone makes a discovery that invalidates that theory. Then someone else comes up with a new theory (or expands/modifies the previous one) to make it work with the new discovery. Then someone else makes a new discovery. And so on and so forth, ad infinitum. Sometimes it happens a bit backwards -- someone comes up with a new theory and then a new discovery is made later on that "proves" that theory.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (4, Insightful)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41946317)

Science works by re-evaluating our world view based on the results of the experiment. Only bad science re-evaluates the definitions of the words in the original hypothesis to cause the desired result instead.
Proper science would have the hypothesis that humans are the only ones who make and use tools, upon seeing another animal make and use tools, we would adjust the hypothesis to say "only humans and _____ make and use tools" or some such. Instead we find people re-defining "tools" so that their original hypothesis remains correct despite evidence to the contrary. This isn't science.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

wwalker (159341) | about 2 years ago | (#41946693)

Have to disagree. We are not trying to explain how a "tool" works. The only hypothesis here is about how to differentiate it from rocks, sticks, etc.. So it is perfectly fine to alter the hypothesis when new facts are discovered that do not fit the original hypothesis. Think of how Earth was first thought of as a flat disk resting on backs of some giant animals. Then certain things were discovered and the Earth became round, resting in the center of the universe. Then more things got discovered that made that definition obsolete. And so forth...

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

cyp43r (945301) | about 2 years ago | (#41950383)

Yes, but that only works if you define tool as 'something only humans use'. We haven't discovered anything new about tools when we find tool using animals, we've discovered something about animals. Redefining tool is exactly antithetical to science.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41952359)

I agree that we are not trying to explain how a tool works, but we're also not trying to define what it is. That part has to be done outside of experiments about animals using them.
Here we are trying to define what animals do or don't use, to redefine the definition of a tool based on the outcome of the experiment on if animals use them is very bad science.
Unfortunately some bad scientists have already defined tool in their mind as "something only humans use" and therefore keep altering the definition to avoid having to admit that what they see in nature is in fact tool use.

No experiment can work if you can't agree on the terms of the experiment without first seeing the outcome, and that's exactly what's happening here, redefining the terms to make the outcome match expectations, instead of re-evaluating our knowledge of the world based on the observations.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41947123)

Lol, responding to the "climate change" denier troll!

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

Quasimodem (719423) | about 2 years ago | (#41946579)

Man is the only creature who uses tools to make things he does not need, and then needs to use other tools to make something large in which to store them all.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

capedgirardeau (531367) | about 2 years ago | (#41946619)

Not really. What he described is called "goal post moving".

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#41947933)

Not sure if you realize this but you have it Bass Ackwards. An incorrect definition of tool was originally defined on the presumption that only human beings had the mental chops to reorganize their environment using rational capability and tools. With growing research we find that a number of species demonstrate a native and shocking intelligence comparable if not equal to human beings. The late great African Grey Parrot, Alex had the intellectual development of a 5 year child, and could perform simple math, make logical deductions, understood symbolic representation and could identify by name several dozen distinct items in his play space.

Elephants, Cetaceans, Birds (specifically parrots, crows and jays), higher primates (i.e great apes), and cephalopods (and to a lesser degree wild dogs, cats and pigs) demonstrate a wide variety of traits indicating high intelligence including language, symbolic reference, puzzle/problem solving, invention, tools making and using, strategy and superb long term memory. More than a couple of these animals already qualify as sentient, it would be an exiting project to bring all of these species to full intellectual development, we know the genes responsible for taking us from ape to man. It seems to me, having distinctly different but equal intelligences working with us, could prove to be very useful. Particularly in diverse colonies off world. if we're going to preserve consciousness why stop with just our own, and if there are wiser beings watching us, waiting for us to demonstrate some semblance of social maturity, wouldn't such an act demonstrate our good intentions? Our growing maturity and responsibility? All interesting ideas.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#41955995)

if there are wiser beings watching us, waiting for us to demonstrate some semblance of social maturity, wouldn't such an act demonstrate our good intentions? Our growing maturity and responsibility? All interesting ideas.

Wot, noticing dolphins and birds are kind of smart and so genetically modifying them to make them people? Any wiser beings would think we're functionally retarded as a species.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 2 years ago | (#41948501)

Changing definitions so that you can throw away data that contradicts the conclusions you wish to draw? Exemplary *bad science*.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

doti (966971) | about 2 years ago | (#41960963)

Leave Math out of this.

Math has nothing to do with reality.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (4, Insightful)

Empiric (675968) | about 2 years ago | (#41946153)

For a substantial subset of the population of a certain worldview, the main dilemma is that they can propose no conceptual differentiator of themselves from animals at all.

This has... implications.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (3, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#41947955)

Indeed... we are animals like all the rest no different than the others save we live in a sea of language and all that entails. Once we expand the ability of these other beings to communicate in a rich language space the differences get shockingly small. Koko loves kitty, want good banana. Koko is beautiful gorilla. Not human, but so close its scary, particularly when uneducated poachers are slaughtering gorillas for trinkets, their hands and feet and sometimes bush meat. In this sitatoin, who is the wild beast and who is the intelligent species indeed?

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

Empiric (675968) | about 2 years ago | (#41948759)

Indeed... we are animals like all the rest no different than the others save we live in a sea of language and all that entails.

Speak for yourself.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

Optic7 (688717) | about 2 years ago | (#41992455)

Not human, but so close its scary, particularly when uneducated poachers are slaughtering gorillas for trinkets, their hands and feet and sometimes bush meat. In this sitatoin, who is the wild beast and who is the intelligent species indeed?

Don't forget that humans used to do these same things to other humans, not just other animals, until very recently. Perhaps they even still do, in some places.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41946523)

There's been a lot of back and forth revision of the definition over the years. I remember it was originally something like "Any object used outside of its natural scope to achieve a goal." Then people realized this meant otters used stones as tools to open clams so it became "Any object that has been modified to increase efficiency for a purpose outside of its natural scope." Then we had video of apes stripping leaves from branches to stick them in anthills... and the revision continues on ad infinitum because heaven forbid that humans have to share the title of "Tool-maker/user" with lesser beings.

FYI, it's well-accepted that apes make tools. And not just the well known anthill thingy; 7 or a dozen different things, IIRC.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (5, Funny)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#41946997)

So do elephants. There is a well documented incident where a female elephant was observed using an epileptic Maasai midget as a vibrator. This is the real reason for their animosity towards elephants. Not competition for land which is the common excuse cited in animal documentary films. This is usually because of a puritan streak in America that causes Americans to shy away from elephant sexuality. I saw this on animal planet. Honest.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41945811)

I remember reading an article about how dragonflies were using stones to tap down their nests making it harder for predators to find. The result was a reclassification on what constituted a tool removing the dragonflies from being classified as tool users.

Many animals use tools. So, I don't really see how this is news worthy other than that the bird learned to build them on its own without help from other birds.

I think that that is the noteworthy bit:

In a sufficiently broad sense, every lifeform on earth has been a 'tool user' since the first proto-membrane structure in some billion-year-old primordial ooze first managed to modify the concentration gradients of some useful molecule(tools don't have to be big, do they?) across its membrane. What we are looking for, when classifying 'tool use' is cognitive development of novel uses for environmental objects, because that demonstrates something about mental capacity, rather than execution of uses for environmental objects(however sophisticated and interesting as a different object of study).

Something like a leafcutter ant, say, has an evolved relationship with fungi rather more sophisticated than most human brewers; but we don't see experimentation, learning, cultural transmission, novel improvisation, etc. This bird, on the other hand, apparently came up with some(crude) tools that birds of its kind don't normally use, purely on its own, to deal with local problems.

The extended relationship between organisms and their environment(extending, in many cases, far enough that you really have to consider the organism as being an element of a larger structure) is indeed fascinating; but it doesn't really do conceptual clarity much good to combine complex environmental manipulations that don't show evidence of being cognitively acquired from those that do...

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

twdorris (29395) | about 2 years ago | (#41946081)

it doesn't really do conceptual clarity much good to combine complex environmental manipulations that don't show evidence of being cognitively acquired from those that do...

It took some cognitively acquired, complex environmental manipulations to parse that sentence. But in fact, it's actually a well-worded statement and a generally good point. Which leads me to believe that you accidentally posted your response on the wrong site. You do realize this is Slashdot, right?

Re:Tools reclassified again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946353)

combine ... from?! Not what I call a well-worded statement...

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

ballpoint (192660) | about 2 years ago | (#41948241)

"Combining {whole} from {parts}" is an acceptable language construct.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 2 years ago | (#41948585)

(a) Not really. Construct from parts, perhaps. The direct object of the verb combine should be the parts from which the whole is being constructed. Combine {parts} into {whole}.
(b) Irrelevant anyway - that's not the construct we have here, namely *combine {part1} from {part2}.

But after a couple of readings it was clear what was meant, there's no need to attemt to justify the error, mistakes happen.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (0)

slashdotard (835129) | about 2 years ago | (#41946185)

Does this story make tool creating and wielding cockatoos official fact? Cockatoo owners have been talking about these kinds of things for ages and have even provided hard evidence, only to be completely dismissed out of hand by scientists who "know" that cockatoos are mere stupid animals.

This will probably be written off as yet another anomaly, an extreme exception to the notion held dear by science--that animals are too stupid to do smart things, a view curiously inherited by science's veritable nemesis, mainstream religion.

Science must discard it's old notions, prejudices and preconceptions, viewing the world through it's own version of rose-coloured glasses. It must stop filtering out, rejecting whatever does not conform to it's prejudices and start observing objectively, fairly.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

green1 (322787) | about 2 years ago | (#41946349)

Science must discard it's old notions, prejudices and preconceptions, viewing the world through it's own version of rose-coloured glasses. It must stop filtering out, rejecting whatever does not conform to it's prejudices and start observing objectively, fairly.

Science already does. Bad scientists however often do not. The problem isn't science, it's the implementation of science by some specific individuals.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (3, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | about 2 years ago | (#41948007)

Alex the famous African Grey Parrot would help tutor other Grey Parrots. A chimp can be shown a model of an adjoining room, with a locker containing a nice piece of fruit. When the door opens, it goes straight to the fruit, it groks symbolic reference. Koko the signing gorilla was capable of artwork, word play, and conversations with remarkable sensitivity and insight, all of these traits we take for granted as strictly human, and they are not. These are not anecdotal musings. These are cold hard facts gleaned from test animals in research facilities. The harder we look, the more we see, the more we see how close they are to us and that they deserve to be treated with the respect that sentience or the spark of sentience deserves. Human beings haven't even stopped dehumanizing one another, it is perhaps time that as we protect the human dignity of our own species, that we include all highly intelligent species as well as an expression of that dignity.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41949915)

Nah dude. Not when there's money to be made!! Are you some kind of America-hating communist???

Re:Tools reclassified again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945813)

It is newsworthy, because you are the exception. Most NPCs (aka "people") aren't yet programmed to the knowledge that many animals use tools. So we need repeated news, to program their simple and limited neural nets, until it is common knowledge. Which might still take 50 years.

I know it's tough when you are an actual individual, or a quick-programmable NPC, and this entered your mind years, if not decades ago. But what can you do?

Majority may not even have "souls" (1, Troll)

zidium (2550286) | about 2 years ago | (#41947151)

This "Quick-Programmable NPC" is what a lot of spiritualists would term "a soul".

There's a particular line of thought (and scientific study! See: Eric Pepin) that hypothesizes that what pratically every awake, Quick-Programmable NPC people generally reference as their "soul" is really an evolutionary epiphenomenon / emergent property that just started emerging in the species in the last 10,000-50,000 years ago, at least in the genius class.

It further states that while it has a very real biological component (certain gene combinations are apparently *required* to be *born* with this "soul state" (or quick-programmable, as you put it), it is mostly a psychological / noetic characteristic, a sort of linguistically-programmable memetic virus.

The more Quick NPCs such as ourselves interact with other animals (especially humans), the more those other entities develop their own "soulness". The effect is that even completely biologically-unique adopted children and pets will seem to develop "soulness" based upon their age (younger the better) and duration and intensity of their enmeshment with "soulful" entities.

This spread of "humanizing characteristics" has been quite dramatically and very frequently observed in most domesticated species of all types, including a wide range of mammals and birds (esp. primates, canines, and felines). The critical point where the process cements in the entity is with their neurolinguistic recognition of their own "name" (or arbitrary identity reference).

There is a serious and ongoing research into this field, mainly by cutting edge linguists and neurologists. Most keep it under wraps for fear of ridicule from the mainstream scientific society, but that's how cutting edge stuff has always gone for millennia now.

Re:Majority may not even have "souls" (1, Interesting)

zidium (2550286) | about 2 years ago | (#41947197)

I forgot to add, that current estimates suggest that somewhere between 2 to 15 percent (no more than 20%) of the American population are completely self-autonomous, soulful entities who have largely superceded biological programming and have become what we idealize as "sovereign humans", living mostly in the noetic sphere of mentalism.

Due to selection and fitness pressures, since noetic individuals trend to fair poorly in high-crime, war-torn areas, the concentration of noetic beings has actually been declining for the last 100 years in most places. Since individuals who are bootstrapped with noetic capabilities at birth almost certainly require certain genetic combinations, and since the least fit (in a noetic sense) breed the fastest and trend to prey on the relatively much more weak noetic individuals, this trend is both deepening and accelerating.

Highly noetic nations of the United States, Europe, Russia, and particularly Japan, are even facing extinction-level reproduction failures, if not of their general population (if buttressed by massive immigration from less noetic societies), then certainly of their noetic populations. This culling process is part of the evolutionary flow:

In the middle-to-long term, the world will once again become mostly bereft of noetic individuals (probably in another 300-500 years, if not hastened by human/natural calamities). This is termed The Grand Supercycle by several branches of theorists (including Elliot Wave theorists). They tend to occur on a scale of ~25,000 years, and we're in the terminal years, accoridng to various ancient calendars scattered around the world.

And look around you. The collapse of societies, everywhere, will be plainly obvious to everyone who is even partially noetic.

Re:Majority may not even have "souls" (1)

ballpoint (192660) | about 2 years ago | (#41948247)

You have interesting ideas and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

It's the Australian connection. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945823)

ANY submission with even the most tenuous of Aussie connections is accepted.

Re:Tools reclassified again? (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about 2 years ago | (#41949759)

Don't listen to Mogusha! He's a cuckatoo, just trying to avoid suspicion!

Manufacturing industry (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41945705)

grrlscientist writes with news of a cockatoo named Figaro, who was observed to construct and use his own tools

That's just epic. When the economy doesn't support the First World manufacturing industry, you can rely on parrots take over. I think I'll sleep much better now. :-)

Re:Manufacturing industry (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41945959)

grrlscientist writes with news of a cockatoo named Figaro, who was observed to construct and use his own tools

That's just epic. When the economy doesn't support the First World manufacturing industry, you can rely on parrots take over. I think I'll sleep much better now. :-)

Just you wait: Next week, I hear that a team will be publishing their work on a vulture who established a shell company, oversaw a hostile buyout of Figaro's Tools, and then outsourced production to China while exploiting the artisinal brand appeal of Figaro's lovingly handcrafted tradition... That's the bird you want to watch out for...

Re:Manufacturing industry (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41946541)

grrlscientist writes with news of a cockatoo named Figaro, who was observed to construct and use his own tools

That's just epic. When the economy doesn't support the First World manufacturing industry, you can rely on parrots take over. I think I'll sleep much better now. :-)

I've seen a video of a manufacturer using birds trained to identify defective plastic screws as they passed by a little window on a conveyer.

People replaced with machines, machines replaced with birds... what's the world coming to?

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945803)

Did it spell out 'please dont eat me"? That's the one we have to take notice of...

Just uh... keep it away from the cows and chickens. don't want them getting any ideas...

Is Cockatoo a new tech startup? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945871)

With the names of some recent start-ups, I at first thought there was a new company named Cockatoo that was getting into the manufacturing biz and they use the open-source app called "tools".

Hey, there are lots of weird names out there.

Re:Is Cockatoo a new tech startup? (2)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#41946311)

Nah, the web startup would've used "koccaTwo" and "toolr" respectively.

Not the first bird documented ... (4, Informative)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 2 years ago | (#41945971)

The New Caledonian raven has already been documented as creating and using tools [youtube.com] .

Of course, this is how science is done - repetition!

Re:Not the first bird documented ... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#41946459)

There's long been a bit of an argument over which is smarter: The Parrots, or the Corvids. Naturally, I support the latter team.

Re:Not the first bird documented ... (5, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41946555)

There's long been a bit of an argument over which is smarter: The Parrots, or the Corvids. Naturally, I support the latter team.

And I the former.

But I have to admit, one of my favorite animal movies is where the guy leaves a baited hook dangling through a hole in the ice, and while he's away a corvid lands on the cross-beam that the line is tied too and pulls the fish up, an inch or two at a time, by pulling up some line and then standing on it while reaching for another pull.

Not the first machine documented ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41947745)

Indeed, now for a challenge, teach a machine to do the same.

Re:Not the first bird documented ... (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#41953489)

I like how the raven tossed the hook back in the hole, probably hoping to get another fish.

My dad rescued a baby crow when he was a kid. He always said that it was smarter than their dogs.

Stupid bird (1)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#41945973)

A smart bird would have made a tool that could do the job ten times, and not a new tool each time. I have seen docos showing mainly birds using tools to get grubs out of holes or use stones to crack nuts, I think that we under- estimate how smart animals can be.

Re:Stupid bird (1)

Derek Pomery (2028) | about 2 years ago | (#41946267)

Well, he's probably a bit bored in there. And the yard is a bit grubby. Might have been hard to find the sticks again.
But if you watch the video, it shows him picking up a stick again that he dropped when the cashew wasn't close enough.
It also shows him picking up a random stick in the yard, and resizing a stick that was too large to manipulate the cashew.

Re:Stupid bird (3, Funny)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 years ago | (#41946525)

A smart bird would have made a tool that could do the job ten times, and not a new tool each time.

A smart bird would have picked the lock on the cage and shived the person with the can of cashews when their back was turned.

Re:Stupid bird (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#41947153)

My wife's parents used to have two Cockatoos. (Only one now - the other passed away.) Both birds figured out how to pick a Master key lock to get out of their cages. And forget the shiv. Their beaks are strong enough to crack right through the bone in your finger if they want to. (Luckily, I don't know this from personal experience.) Do NOT attempt to pet them if they're in a bad mood!

Re:Stupid bird (2)

robbiedo (553308) | about 2 years ago | (#41948335)

Cockatoos are some of the most adorable, sweet, cuddly...flip the switch...mean, aggressive, dangerous animals I have ever worked with.

Re:Stupid bird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41951007)

I don't know how you can leave any intelligent, social animal alone in a cage for the better part of each day and expect it to be anything but mentally unbalanced.

Re:Stupid bird (2)

Carewolf (581105) | about 2 years ago | (#41951563)

Cockatoos are some of the most adorable, sweet, cuddly...flip the switch...mean, aggressive, dangerous animals I have ever worked with.

You never worked with cats?

Re:Stupid bird (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#41955987)

I'd pit my in-laws' cockatoo against a cat any day.... except it wouldn't be fair to the cat. Cats can be aggressive, but cockatoos are mini-raptors. Their claws and beaks can be deadly if they decide they don't like you.

Re:Stupid bird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946559)

I like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofjo26O0z_o&feature=related
using one stick too short to reach the food to get another longer stick that can reach the food

I for one welcome our new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945983)

avian rabid parrototyping overlords!

"Manufactured"?! (1)

wwalker (159341) | about 2 years ago | (#41946043)

Doesn't "manufactured" imply that the final product is made using other tools or machinery, which wasn't the case here? Shouldn't it be "a parrot made tools" or rather "a parrot uses slivers of wood to poke at a nut in an attempt to retrieve it"? Not as catchy of a title, but also not as misleading as the current one...

Re:"Manufactured"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946239)

Manufactured is a transliteration of "hand-made." So technically, this would be pedufactured (assuming the bird used its feet).

Re:"Manufactured"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41947921)

No, it does not. The title is fine.

Pretty Bird : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946155)

Stupid Humans...

Future employement for Cockatoos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946231)

If they could be trained to assemble ipads you can bet Foxconn would do it. Depends only on the price of bird food whether or not they would be cheaper than their existing work force.

Re:Future employement for Cockatoos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41947465)

If they could be trained to assemble ipads you can bet Foxconn would do it. Depends only on the price of bird food whether or not they would be cheaper than their existing work force.

[ sarcasm ] Would this elevate Foxconn's status in terms of environmentally-friendly? [ /sarcasm ]

Still No. 1 ! (1)

Turminder Xuss (2726733) | about 2 years ago | (#41947481)

Ok, so Cockatoo's, Apes, Elephants and Dragonflies all use tools too. We're still the only species that hangs them on shadowboards.

Surely Apple has a Patent for that (0)

VonSkippy (892467) | about 2 years ago | (#41947643)

Hope the bird has a good lawyer, I'm sure Apple thinks it invented the stick, so watch out birdy, the black turtleneck of the law is on your tail.

I for one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41947795)

welcome our tool using cockatoo overlords.

Crows do this too (2)

YurB (2583187) | about 2 years ago | (#41948251)

A good TED talk in itself, but around 2:55 the speaker shows a video of a crow creating a tool: Joshua Klein: The intelligence of crows [ted.com] . I like his conclusion: instead of killing crows (and other non-human species which have adapted to live in cities), we should think how we can use their adaptive skills to train them to do some work for us, i.e. to try to cooperate with them.

Breeding Cockatoo's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41948603)

This could be the solution to our economic troubles; we need to breed an army of Cockatoo's as cheap labour, to lure multinationals and manufacturing outlets back to our country, and bring the economy back up to speed.

Once we breed enough Cockatoo's, we'll have enough cheap labour so that nobody will ever have to work again, with our lives being spent lavishing ourselves in a luxury Cockatoo-based economy (so long as the Cockatoo's don't revolt).

If they get any smarter... (1)

mutherhacker (638199) | about 2 years ago | (#41948655)

...we'll have a problem on our hands. Imagine a new breed of intelligent flying creatures. They'd swoop down, grab our food and just fly away. They'd fly to some remote mountain top to breed, then create their own civilization and eventually.. they'll come for us :)

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