Lock-Picking Cockatoos

(from Devorah Bennu, PhD, “GrrlScientist,” at http://gu.com/p/3h7vz/tw)

Follow the link above for an amazing story of how Cockatoos in an animal-behavior lab were shown learning to pick a series of 5 locking devices in a specific order so as to get a reward. Or was the challenge itself the reward? We know that among the more intelligent birds, curiosity and playfulness occupies much of their time, suggesting they dislike (and are prone to) boredom.

“Confirming what many companion parrot owners already know, ten cockatoos demonstrated their strategic and spatial reasoning abilities by opening a series of five locks in sequence to obtain a reward — without prior training.”

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