torsdag 21 februari 2013

Visit to Bavaria

Christian, Berenika, Auguste, Hugo, Mathias and Ivo
Last week we went to Bavaria in Germany to visit Auguste von Bayern and her research group. She works mostly with jackdaws (Corvus monedula) and New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) which are housed in number of outdoor aviaries in Leutstetten. The New Caledonian crow is endemic to The New Caledonian islands and is famous for its tool-use and abilitiy to solve sophisticated cognitive tests. We only met the crows briefly, but I was totally mesmarized by their soft and endearing calls.

The last common ancester of ravens and New Caledonian crows lived 12 million years ago, which is about twice as long as the last common ancester of humans and chimpanzees (6 mya). An interesting perspective, as I would think that most people (myself included) quite often think of different species of crow birds as "just crow birds".


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