The Rooftop Raven Project: An Exploratory, Qualitative Study of Puzzle Solving Ability in Wild and Captive Ravens

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/612873
Title:
The Rooftop Raven Project: An Exploratory, Qualitative Study of Puzzle Solving Ability in Wild and Captive Ravens
Author:
Cory, Emily Faun
Issue Date:
2016
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The family Corivdae, which includes crows and ravens, contains arguably some of the most intelligent species the animal kingdom has to offer. Separated from primates by at least 252 million years of evolution, birds bear striking physiological differences from mammals, while displaying similar intellectual abilities. This apparent convergent evolution of intelligence sheds light on what could possibly be a universal phenomenon. While many excellent studies show the abilities of corvids, the majority of them test only captive subjects. This study tested the capabilities of both captive and wild ravens, from three different species. The first portion of the study tested which of the four solutions offered wild ravens would choose when solving a Multi-Access Box. The second portion of the study tested the performance of wild and captive ravens when solving a Multi-Latch Box. The nine raven subjects were split into four different levels of enculturation based on their known histories. Two wild common ravens (Corvus corax) on the campus of the University of Arizona were level 1, four wild common ravens in the parking lot of a United States Forest Service parking lot were level 2, two captive and trained Chihuahuan ravens (Corvus cryptoleucus) from the Raptor Free Flight program at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum comprised level 3, and one captive and trained white-necked raven (Corvus albicollis) made level 4. It is possible to run trials with completely wild and free birds. It was found that ravens prefer direct methods of obtaining food, such as opening doors and pulling strings, instead of tool use. It was also found that while the relationship between enculturation level and success solving a puzzle was not linear, captive birds were the best solvers. The data given here suggest that captivity, training and enrichment history, and enculturation should all be considered when performing cognitive studies with animals.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Intelligence; Puzzle Box; Puzzle Solving; Ravens; Psychology; Corvids
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Psychology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Jacobs, William J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleThe Rooftop Raven Project: An Exploratory, Qualitative Study of Puzzle Solving Ability in Wild and Captive Ravensen_US
dc.creatorCory, Emily Faunen
dc.contributor.authorCory, Emily Faunen
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractThe family Corivdae, which includes crows and ravens, contains arguably some of the most intelligent species the animal kingdom has to offer. Separated from primates by at least 252 million years of evolution, birds bear striking physiological differences from mammals, while displaying similar intellectual abilities. This apparent convergent evolution of intelligence sheds light on what could possibly be a universal phenomenon. While many excellent studies show the abilities of corvids, the majority of them test only captive subjects. This study tested the capabilities of both captive and wild ravens, from three different species. The first portion of the study tested which of the four solutions offered wild ravens would choose when solving a Multi-Access Box. The second portion of the study tested the performance of wild and captive ravens when solving a Multi-Latch Box. The nine raven subjects were split into four different levels of enculturation based on their known histories. Two wild common ravens (Corvus corax) on the campus of the University of Arizona were level 1, four wild common ravens in the parking lot of a United States Forest Service parking lot were level 2, two captive and trained Chihuahuan ravens (Corvus cryptoleucus) from the Raptor Free Flight program at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum comprised level 3, and one captive and trained white-necked raven (Corvus albicollis) made level 4. It is possible to run trials with completely wild and free birds. It was found that ravens prefer direct methods of obtaining food, such as opening doors and pulling strings, instead of tool use. It was also found that while the relationship between enculturation level and success solving a puzzle was not linear, captive birds were the best solvers. The data given here suggest that captivity, training and enrichment history, and enculturation should all be considered when performing cognitive studies with animals.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectIntelligenceen
dc.subjectPuzzle Boxen
dc.subjectPuzzle Solvingen
dc.subjectRavensen
dc.subjectPsychologyen
dc.subjectCorvidsen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorJacobs, William J.en
dc.contributor.committeememberSchwartz, Gary E.en
dc.contributor.committeememberKing, James E.en
dc.contributor.committeememberSteklis, Horst D.en
dc.contributor.committeememberIMpey, Christopher D.en
dc.contributor.committeememberJacobs, William J.en
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