Animal minds

Cockatoos found to rival chimps in tool set use

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Goffin’s cockatoos have been added to the short list of non-human animals that use and transport toolsets. In a study publishing in the journal Current Biology on February 10, researchers show that the cockatoos carry multiple tools to their worksite when the job calls for it. This behavior has only been previously reported in chimpanzees, our closest relatives. – February 10, 2023

There’s a lot more to be learned about cockatoo tool use, the researchers say. “We feel that, in terms of technical cognition and tool use, parrots have been underestimated and understudied,” says Auersperg.

“We’ve learned how dexterous the cockatoos are when using a toolset, and we have a lot of things to follow-up on,” says Osuna-Mascaró. “The switching behavior is very interesting to us, and we are definitely going to use it to explore their decision making and their metacognition—their ability to recognize their own knowledge.”

What the cockatoos are doing is not all that spectacular actually. The take-home point no one wants to talk about is that chimpanzees are not outstandingly more bright than many birds, despite their close genetic relationship to humans.

The paper is open access.

6 Replies to “Cockatoos found to rival chimps in tool set use

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    cheep, cheep, cheap!

    PS, ponder how much anglers have to do to fool fish.

  2. 2
    News says:

    In fairness, kairosfocus, there is more at stake for the fish than for the angler. And the fish has little else to think about. 😉

  3. 3
  4. 4
    relatd says:

    Cockatoos must be our “evolutionary cousins.”

    Or not…

  5. 5
    asauber says:


    Our (us and the Cockatoos) most recent common ancestor was Hawkman or the Birdman of Alcatraz or algae.


  6. 6
    relatd says:

    An amoeba..

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