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The Goffin's Cockatoo: A Perfect Selector

During the first stage of our lives we learn to fit an object into a matching outline such as inserting a key into a keyhole or inserting the appropriate screwdriver into screw. It is seen that infants also like to play with tools like spoon or a rake. The Goffin's cockatoo is not an expert tool user in the animal world but has developed the capacity to invent and use different types of tools in captivity.

Now the biologists tested these parrots in a tool use task that requires the birds to move objects towards a surface. The animals had to choose the correct "key" to insert into a "keyhole" in a box, aligning its shape to the shape of a surface cut-out inside the box during insertion of the key. It was found that the parrots were not only able to select the correct key but also required lesser attempts to align simple shapes.  Geometry and symmetry are another important aspect of fitting task. Goffin's cockatoos are very playful and inventive parrots that are recognized for their intelligence and ability to develop sophisticated forms of tool used in cage. During the experiment it was observed that the Goffin's cockatoos selected the rightly shaped objects from a selection of up to five different shapes immediately without requiring any extra training.

The research indicated that the animals also possess an allocentric frame of reference similar to two-year-old child.


By- Anita Aishvarya

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