Keas Perform Similarly to Chimpanzees and Elephants when Solving Collaborative TasksReport as inadecuate




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Cooperation between individuals is one of the defining features of our species. While other animals, such as chimpanzees, elephants, coral trout and rooks also exhibit cooperative behaviours, it is not clear if they think about cooperation in the same way as humans do. In this study we presented the kea, a parrot endemic to New Zealand, with a series of tasks designed to assess cooperative cognition. We found that keas were capable of working together, even when they had to wait for their partner for up to 65 seconds. The keas also waited for a partner only when a partner was actually needed to gain food. This is the first demonstration that any non-human animal can wait for over a minute for a cooperative partner, and the first conclusive evidence that any bird species can successful track when a cooperative partner is required, and when not. The keas did not attend to whether their partner could actually access the apparatus themselves, which may have been due to issues with task demands, but one kea did show a clear preference for working together with other individuals, rather than alone. This preference has been shown to be present in humans but absent in chimpanzees. Together these results provide the first evidence that a bird species can perform at a similar level to chimpanzees and elephants across a range of collaborative tasks. This raises the possibility that aspects of the cooperative cognition seen in the primate lineage have evolved convergently in birds.



Author: Megan Heaney, Russell D. Gray, Alex H. Taylor

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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