The role of experience and social learning in the tool use and tool making of the New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides)

  • Nina Tabea Brennecke Maastricht University
Keywords: social learning, development, tool use, tool manufacture


Tool use and manufacture are central points in the development of human culture and certain sophisticated aspects of it are believed to be uniquely human. Studies of New Caledonian crows present findings that question this uniqueness and suggest highly sophisticated tool behavior. The purpose of this paper is to discuss this behavior and to present different theories on how this behavior is obtained. Recurring evidence supports the view that inheritance interacts with experience and social learning over the course of the development of tool use and tool manufacture, but further research is required to identify the extent to which each aspect contributes to it. Nevertheless, the behavior of the New Caledonian crow may offer insight on the development of human culture.


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