Cockatoo Shows Improvisational Cognitive Learning in Tool Use

Cockatoo Shows Improvisational Cognitive Learning in Tool Use

Contributed by Marielle Grenade-Willis

In this amazing study, a Goffin’s cockatoo is given the task of trying to retrieve an object out of a hollow tube using a pipe cleaner. The cockatoo succeeded in bending the pipe cleaner into a hook to retrieve the object. What makes this finding so unique, is that the cockatoo in its natural environment generally does not exhibit tool use, whereas the New Caledonian crow, which was the first bird worked with in this study, does. The discovery has led scientists to believe that the cockatoo is expressing improvised, cognitive ability to problem solve for a solution to the presented issue. This analysis  can be correlated to the capabilities approach in that the cockatoo is expressing ” material control over one’s environment”.