Birdbrainy: New Caledonian crows make tools using mental images

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Study finds birds have design templates in their minds and may pass them on to future generations

New Caledonian crows use mental pictures to twist twigs into hooks and make other tools, according to a provocative study that suggests the notoriously clever birds pass on successful designs to future generations, a hallmark of culture.

“We find evidence for a specific type of emulation we call mental template matching,” co-author Alex Taylor, director of the Language, Cognition and Culture Lab at the University of Auckland, told AFP.

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