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Cockatoos and their tooling skills

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

The subject of Goffin’s Cockatoos cognitive abilities has previously been included in Parrots magazine. In this article, Devorah Bennu PhD describes in more detail how the Goffin’s Cockatoos have created increased interest and inspired scientists to carry out more detailed research into these fascinating psittacines.

A new study finds that problem-solving cockatoos can combine simple tools to accomplish a task, which is a cognitive ability that only a very few primates were previously known to perform.

An international team of behavioural researchers at the Messerli Research Institute with the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna has discovered that Tanimbar Cockatoos, also known as Goffin’s Cockatoos or Goffin’s Corellas (Cacatua goffiniana), spontaneously use a combination of simple tools to accomplish a task, according to a recently published study. These inventive cockatoos taught themselves how to play ‘cockatoo golf’ using these tools.

The goal of this particular study was to understand whether these innovative parrots’ tool-using abilities are on par with those of early humans as demonstrated in a test inspired by the game of golf. This study is also part of a wider international and interdisciplinary project comparing children’s innovation and problem solving skills with those of cockatoos..

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