Thieving parrots actually plan to unlock food

August 16th, 2010 - 12:02 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 16 (ANI): Kea parrots are renowned thieves in their native New Zealand and now researchers have found that they actually plan their moves to open even a complicated sequence of locks to reach food.

Hiromitsu Miyata of Kyoto University in Japan first presented keas with boxes of food secured with up to three bolts.

The parrots managed to open all of them, so he made the tasks harder, reports New Scientist.

The most challenging set-up involved two bolts blocking each other such that one needed to be slid open before the second would release.

Miyata found that the keas cracked this problem faster if they were allowed to study the set-up for a while before attempting to break it.

This suggests they are able to plan their moves, he said.

Until now, the birds were thought to tackle problems in a haphazard fashion.

The study has been published in Animal Cognition. (ANI)

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