Crows can count out loud, startling study reveals

Crows can count out loud, startling study reveals

Live Science reports:

Crows can count out loud, a startling new study has revealed, and they may even have the same numeracy skills as human toddlers.

Researchers found that carrion crows (Corvus corone) can produce a specific number of caws in response to visual or auditory stimuli, enabling them to count out loud between one and four.

The discovery is the first time that animals have been definitively shown to count by making a distinct number of vocalizations. The researchers published their findings Thursday (May 23) in the journal Science.

“Producing a specific number of vocalizations with purpose requires a sophisticated combination of numerical abilities and vocal control,” the researchers wrote in the study. “Our results demonstrate that crows can flexibly and deliberately produce an instructed number of vocalizations by using the ‘approximate number system’, a non-symbolic number estimation system shared by humans and animals.” [Continue reading…]

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