Friday, December 2, 2011

This Is News?

...Corvus corvax -- those canny black birds... may have communication abilities and intelligence that puts them on par with bonobos.

By repeatedly demonstrating a kind of “look at that” gesture thought to be at the foundation of human language -- behavior seen in human infants beginning at about the age of 1...

Humans begin gesturing long before they can hold a conversation. Think of how babies will point to food or toys as a way to direct a parent’s attention. These “triadic interactions” -- involving two people and one object -- are more complex than one might assume, involving eye contact and other social behavior. The focus isn’t on using the object but on drawing the other person’s attention to it...

About the only similar gesturing documented in the wild involves chimps indicating where they want a partner to groom them...

The ravens probably evolved and then practice the ability because of their complex social life, including the long courtship that leads them form permanent pair-bonds. Ravens mate for life, and the partners must work together to dominate large territories against other ravens.

And so marriage -- at least the corvid kind -- may be responsible for turbo-charging the raven knack for communication.


1 comment:

  1. Cetaceans with names and black birds with "looky thurr"...., next thing you know - if they survive their status-seeking stupidity for long enough - these humans gonna make a breakthrough in the field of artificial language and then WATCH OUT!!!