Calculating, plotting ravens make plans for their future.
Given the choice of having a dog biscuit right now or plotting to receive a greater reward later, ravens like to plan ahead.
Ravens are complex birds. Not only are they able to imagine being spied upon, it’s now been found that they are able to make plans for the near future.
Cognitive scientists from Lund University, Sweden, spent hours watching the corvids to determine that they are able to think ahead to future scenarios. It’s a behaviour that’s previously only ever seen in humans and great apes. The research also showed ravens were willing to miss out on a reward now to get a better one in the future.
For the study, published in the journal Science, the birds were trained in tool use and bartering, which they then used to their advantage. “We show that ravens plan for events with delays of up to 17 hours, exert self-control and consider temporal distance to future events,” the scientists wrote. “Their performance parallels that seen in apes and suggests that planning evolved independently in corvids, which opens new avenues for the study of cognitive evolution.”
The full report can be found here .