Crows Could Be the Smartest Animal Other Than Primates (BBC)
"Christian Rutz at the University of St Andrews is unequivocal. Some birds, like the New Caledonian crows he studies -- can do remarkable things. In a paper published earlier this year, he and his co-authors described how New Caledonians seek out a specific type of plant stem from which to make their hooked tools."
"Experiments showed that crows found the stems they desired even when they had been disguised with leaves from a different plant species. This suggested that the birds were selecting a kind of material for their tools that they knew was just right for the job. You wouldn't use a spanner to hammer in a nail, would you? Ranking the intelligence of animals seems an increasingly pointless exercise when one considers the really important thing: how well that animal is adapted to its niche. In the wild, New Caledonians use their tools to scoop insects out of holes, for example in tree trunks. Footage of this behavior has been caught on camera."
#Comment: "Ranking the intelligence of animals seems an increasingly pointless exercise when one considers the really important thing: how well that animal is adapted to its niche" is a spot on observation! Rigid, hierarchical "we humans are the top of creation" thinking is totally absurd and backwards. While "human smartest, the rest stupid" ideas are deeply rooted in ancient (christian) tradition, their full madness and destructive potential has been unleashed since the dawn of Darwin's evolution theory and dominance of science.