Posted by: Lee Thong Chuan | August 7, 2009

The crow and the pitcher story is scientifically proven

When we were kids, we often listened to stories told by our parents and teachers. Most of the stories instill moral value in ourself. Do you ever listened to a ancient Aesop’s fable “The Crow and the Pitcher”?  It tells the story of a thirsty crow cleverly drops stones into a pithcher of water, raising up the water level to quench his thirst.

Recently, Nathan Emery (Queen Mary, University of London) and Cristhopher Bird (University of Cambridge) have conducted a simple study to prove crows have cognitive thinking to solve a problem, which were also shown by some animals such cimpanzees, orang utan, dogs, swines and etc. In the experiments, Emery and Bird gave each of four crows a clear plastic tube; the tube contained the larvae of a wax moth floating near the bottom, just beyond the reach of the rooks’ beaks. The results showed the crows able to reach the worms by pick up stones and drop it into the plastic tube containing water to raise up the water level. Video of the experiment can be accesses from the ScienceNOW article by Virginia Morrell, 6th August 2009.

It is amazing to us that many animals have cognitive thinking skills comparable to human. They can solve complex problems, in order to get to their food.



  1. good reading materials. keep it up.

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