Too smart lorikeets open trash cans for food and teach their companions | Cockatoo | Sydney | Social Learning

[Epoch Times, July 24, 2021](The Epoch Times reporter Zhang Yufei compiled a report) A recent research report published by Australian and German researchers showed that Australia’s iconic species of Cockatoo can pass “social learning” (social learning). ) To master the ability to forage from the trash can and “invent” different ways to open the lid of the trash can.

According to comprehensive media reports, a research report published in the American journal Science on July 22 showed that the behavior of this species of birds to open the lid of the trash can for food can be divided into five stages. The first is to pry the lid with the beak; The second step is to twist your neck to the side and jump to the edge of the trash can; then, use your beak or claws to hold the lid; then, walk along the edge of the trash can; finally you can successfully open the lid.

The study also found that the cockatoos not only learned from each other how to open the lid of the trash can for food, but also displayed “innovative consciousness” and invented different methods of opening the lid. A cockatoo in northern Sydney invented a new cap-opening technique at the end of 2018, and it quickly spread to other cockatoos in nearby suburbs.

The lead author of the report and chief scientist of the Australian Museum, Richard Major, said in a statement that these cockatoos opened the lid of the trash can in different ways in different regions, proving that this behavior was learned by observing humans. Yes, it also proves that animals can learn, share and develop different subcultures.

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A recently published research report showed that Australia’s iconic species of Cockatoo can master the ability to forage from trash cans through “social learning”. (Barbara Klump/Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior/AFP)

Major several years ago photographed a parrot in Sydney with its beak and paws opening the lid of the trash can to get food in the bucket, and soon attracted his friend, a zoologist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. With the gazes of Barbara Klump and Lucy Aplin, they immediately invested in research together, and they have recently had phased results.

Major said in the report that because Australia uses “standard-size public trash cans”, it is more convenient to perform research on cockatoos imitating foraging. There are millions of Sydney residents who can assist in the observation.

The study found that before 2018, only three suburbs had this situation, but by the end of 2019, 44 suburban residents had reported this situation. Further analysis of the data confirmed that these skills first spread to the area adjacent to the original suburbs, and then further spread out over time, confirming that this behavior does not occur randomly in the city.

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Kramp said that this phenomenon is the so-called “social learning.” “They really pay attention to each other, learn from each other and pass on knowledge. In these respects, they are very similar to us humans, which is really interesting.”

In addition, the researchers also marked with paint on cockatoos with the ability to forage in the trash can to record which parrots learned this behavior, and found that only 10% of the birds learned to open the trash can lid, and the rest of the parrots Will wait silently, wait until the partner opens, and then start looking for food.

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The study also found that 84% of the parrots that open the trash can are males. The parrots who master this skill are more dominant in the bird flock and have a wider social range. There are more parrots at the stage of learning skills. Some parrots can continue to update their skills during the learning process and find ways to save energy and use them better.

Researchers say this discovery can help people understand how animals adapt to urbanization and why some species are better adapted to urban life.

Editor in charge: Han Yu#

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