Study Shows the Amazing Intelligence of Crows


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In Hinduism crows play a very special role. They are considered the representatives of the forefathers, and offerings are made to the forefathers through the crows. For this reason it is recommended to feed various grains to the crows every day. Sani, the Lord of the planet Saturn, is depicted holding a crow. People who are suffering from negative effects of Saturn period are recommended to feed crows to appease Saturn.

In the Ramayana there is the story of a great rishi named Kakabhushundi who was blessed by Lord Rama to be immortal and live eternally as a crow. He later taught the Ramayana to Garuda, the vahana of Lord Vishnu. (For more info you can also read: The Life of Kaka Bhusundi the Crow Sage)

The scriptures are full of stories of the intelligence of crows and their special position and relation to humanity. It is said that the crows have their own language, and in previous yugas the humans could converse with them.

Today there is an interesting article in the news about research on the intelligence of crows. They have come to learn that crows can identify particular humans and can even teach this knowledge to their children, instructing them which humans are good and which are bad. Further crows are known to mourn for their dead and offer homage to them by placing offerings of twigs on their bodies. How the crows communicate such abstract concepts amongst themselves may be beyond present science’s purview, but those who have studied scriptures such as Ramayana and Mahabharata will be well aware of such things.

Study Shows the Amazing Intelligence of Crows

(Article by Manuel Valdes)

For nearly every step of his almost 12-mile walk, Darryl Dyer has company. Flocks of crows follow him, signaling each other, because they all know that he’s the guy with the peanuts.

“They know your body type. The way you walk,” Dyer said. “They’ll take their young down and say: ‘You want to get to know this guy. He’s got the food.’ ”

Scientists for years have known that crows have great memories, that they can recognize a human face and behavior, and can pass that information onto their offspring.

Nowadays, researchers are trying to understand more about the crow’s brain and behavior, specifically what it does when the birds see one of their own die. They react loudly to the dead, but the reasons aren’t entirely known.

Among the guesses is that they are mourning; given that crows mate for life, losing a partner could be a significant moment for the social animals. There are anecdotes of crows placing sticks and other objects on dead birds — a funeral of sorts.

Using masks that look creepily human, researchers showed up at Seattle parks carrying a stuffed crow. They recorded the reactions. It takes one crow to signal an alarm, and then dozens show up. They all surround the dead crow, looking at it as they perch on trees or fly above it, a behavior called mobbing.

“Crows have evolved to have these complex social relationships, and they have a big brain,” said Kaeli Swift, a University of Washington graduate student who led the study.

How big of a brain? Crows are on par with smart mammals, like dolphins and primates, in brain-to-body proportion. They have been known to be problem solvers and are among the few animals recorded to use tools.

In another part of the experiment, using slightly radioactive tracers, researchers measured the brain activity of crows after they were shown a dead bird. The scans showed the section of the hippocampus — the part involved in memory formation — light up at the sight of death.

“In that particular situation at least, that crow was learning about a place, or a face, or a situation and associated it with that dead crow,” said John Marzluff, the lead researcher.

To Marzluff, this and upcoming research on crows highlight a special relationship humans have with a bird that has thrived in its cities and civilization.

“When you see its brain is using the same parts of the brain to remember things that we do, or to learn fearful situations like we do, maybe it gives you a little more sympathy to the bird, or maybe kinship with the bird,” he said.

Source: Yahoo News

8 comments on "Study Shows the Amazing Intelligence of Crows"

  1. Dolan SenGupta says:

    I was told once by a very spiritual person that the crows had a connection with the Gods & often appeared in dreams with given messages by the Divine.
    Can anyone else enlighten me please ! This would be very helpful.

  2. Padmanabhan.V says:

    Very very interesting n would like to read such articles in future n thanks for publishing inspiring articles,like above.

  3. chandru g advani says:

    what an addition to us of gther intelligence of
    the CROWS.If a crow comes to or nearby our Balcony,we were told some Message IS to come
    soon.When we were children>Please add more on Crows when you can.Thanks Regards from Chandru G.Advani,Yokohama
    I wake up,when in the morning I hear their
    Crow *music*.Every day.Thanks to the CROW
    being near us.AMEN

  4. clprabhakar says:

    crows are very important in the sraddhakarmas. if crows comes to eat the kakapinda, it is symbol the departed Fathers are pleased. through crow communication to Pitr take place there is vedic mantra where the crows are prayed.The mantra is:’svastyayanam tarkshyam aristanemiim mahadbhutamvayasam devatanam..bruhadyaso navamivaaruhema(R<V) this is used in the funeral rites . Apart from that they are strong in their paropakara buddhi. When they find food singly it will not rush toeatbut call her friends too. Among birds, crows give us lessons. Rama blessed the bird one eye and so the crow though has two eyes but it bends its neck to have total vision. In the chiding language crow figures for many unwanted behaviors. for example at shoutings. people scold: how !shout like crows. Anyway Crow is good theme for study. thanks for the primary information on crows.

  5. Rao and Rao says:

    No doubt crows like the company of humans Their community is highly integrated’ highly united and socialistiC society they practice.good and bad they share. I observed a crow in my house it used to come at particaular time for feed almost grab from hand and fly away. In India crow is a natural scavenger.it eats trash and ccleans theroads Without crows iion India the deceases will go up

  6. Yogithakur says:

    Man are always to the myths or scriptures but never tried to know the very truth of human life which can reveal the highest truth of God. Science’s research towards brain of crows will revealed only the intellectuality of crows but not more than that in spiritual manner. Crows are far more intellectual than man n they knows all the characters of Brahman from where the spiritual knowledge starts. So man have to converse many things which the ascense of highest perfection n all attractive. Om Tat Sat

  7. S.Muralikrishnan Iyer says:

    I had written several months ago to my select group of readers that Crows have GREAT INTELLIGENCE and various studies and their video clippings were shown on one of Discovery or Nat Geo channels. S.INdians strogly believe in the connection between crows and PITRUS – or the departed and during Shraddham or Death-anniversaries crows are summoned to give the first feed of the food, before even the Priests are allowed to eat.

    Crow is the only species of its kind which does not FIGHT FOR FOOD FOR ITSELF – INSTEAD IT WILL CALL OTHER CROWS TO ANNOUNCE THAT FOOD IS HERE!

  8. Pramila Lall says:

    The discoveries that we read now had already been described in the Scriptures of Snatan Dharma (Hinduism). So for Hindus these discoveries by Western Scientists are no news

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