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Crows Can Actually Count Out Loud, Amazing New Study Shows


It’s no secret that corvids are capable of some amazing feats of creative and intelligent thinking, but a newly discovered ability has us stunned.

A team of scientists has shown that crows can ‘count’ out loud – producing a specific and deliberate number of caws in response to visual and auditory cues. While other animals such as honeybees have shown an ability to understand numbers, this specific manifestation of numeric literacy has not yet been observed in any other non-human species.

“Producing a specific number of vocalizations with purpose requires a sophisticated combination of numerical abilities and vocal control,” writes the team of researchers led by neuroscientist Diana Liao of the University of Tübingen in Germany.

“Whether this capacity exists in animals other than humans is yet unknown. We show that crows can flexibly produce variable numbers of one to four vocalizations in response to arbitrary cues associated with numerical values.”

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