Joshua Klein Shows What Crows Can Do

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Joshua Klein is interested in synanthropic species: those animals that have specifically adapted to live within human ecologies, like large cities. Example species are rats and cockroaches, which survive well in human habitats. But Klein is most interested in crows: they don't just survive, they thrive in human environments, even using human technology to feed themselves.

Klein discusses crows creating and using tools, using human fishing gear, using cars to open nuts, and much more. Okay, so Klein demonstrates that crows are smart. But what can we do with this information? Watch his ten-minute talk to learn how Klein used Skinnerian training to create a "Crow Vending Machine" in which crows exchange lost coins for peanuts.

Read more about Klein's crow vending machine at his website. No word yet on whether he's rich from all that spare change.

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May 29, 2008 - 8:15am
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