ARE CROWS REALLY INTELLIGENT?
EXPERIMENTATION WITH REAL CROWS
Changing behaviour of all
We are fed with tales of the intelligence of crows. Every one will recall the story of the thirsty crow, whose beak could not reach the water level in a vessel. The crow went on throwing stones in it, and the water level came up. It is really a fancy story and is meant to educate us. But actually take a vessel and start throwing stones in it, and you will realize the vessel will get cluttered with stones and the water level will be still down and out of reach. Although an article in the magazine ‘Current Biology’ reports that this has actually been experimented as a success. Obviously it all depends on the type of stone used for the purpose.
Such an intelligent animal, and yet totally paranoid. How is that it gets frightened by just plain action of it? Children throw imaginary stones at crows and the crow yelps and flies away, even when there is no stone. Indeed crows are like cowboys, trigger happy all the time.
Crows are also totally competitive. You throw a piece of food, and the crows fight for the same. Totally disgusting behaviour of not having the ability to share with others. But if you throw a number of pieces together, there is no room for them to fight with each other over the piece and they lose interest in the pieces of food itself.
And then also totally greedy. Fighting with others, not content with one piece, a crow would try to pick up three, four pieces all in one beak at the same time. The more you watch the animal, the more you think of it as a crazy off shoot of evolution.
And the one thing that comes to your mind is their comparison with our politicians. Greedy, thirsty, and paranoid and totally selfish. Indeed the assembly of Crows is reflective of our society. That is why we have the legend of Kalila and Dimna, or the Assemblage of Crows, as a tale from our past, meant to educate all Princes in the Machiavellian art of survival, in which evil always triumphs over virtue. That is the history of crows.