Corvidae: Facts and Photography
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RE: Corvidae: Facts and Photography
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Magpies DON'T like shiny objects: Study finds the birds are actually scared of new and unfamiliar items

Psychologists from Exeter University carried out tests on magpie groups
The found that, contrary to popular belief, the birds don't like shiny objects
In fact, the magpies studied were frightened of new and unfamiliar items


It is considered the villain of the animal kingdom - a pilferer obsessed with stealing trinkets. But it appears the magpie has been unfairly maligned all along.

For despite its centuries-old reputation, new research suggests that the bird is not attracted to shiny objects after all.

In fact, as animal psychologists have discovered, magpies are actually quite repelled by unfamiliar items.

Quote:MYTH AND LEGEND OF THE MAGPIE

Suspicion of the bird is common in folklore and myth.

In western Europe and North America magpies are often thought to be bearers of bad omens, and associated with the devil.

Negative connotations surrounding magpies can be traced back to Shakespeare, when their 'chattering' was referenced, and moaned about.

Other myths claim the birds were the only ones not to join Noah on the ark.

Superstitious people will often salute and greet a magpie to avoid experiencing bad luck.

The idea of the magpie as a pilferer that steals sparkly items for its nest is a common theme in European folklore.

Rossini made it the theme of his 1817 opera The Thieving Magpie, in which a servant girl is executed for stealing silver jewellery that had been pinched by a bird.

The Tintin comic The Castafiore Emerald has a similar plot, in which a prized emerald stolen by a magpie.

But scientists at the University of Exeter have now debunked the myth, proving that magpies are not the flighty thieves we thought they were. The researchers carried out a series of tests on wild magpies and a group of the birds housed at a rescue centre. Under carefully controlled conditions, they were exposed to both shiny and non-shiny items and their reactions recorded.

Lead researcher Dr Toni Shephard, from the university’s Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, said: ‘We did not find evidence of an unconditional attraction to shiny objects in magpies.

‘Instead, all objects prompted responses indicating neophobia - fear of new things


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/a...z3AYMq5EyG
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Thomas Metzinger
2014 Aug 16 12:29
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Post: #52
RE: Corvidae: Facts and Photography
But Phleggy says he knows at least one magpie that collected loads of shiny objects - mainly polished aluminum that reflected sunlight - but no jewellery. Usually however they prefer to collect objects of a more practical value, like walnuts and hazelnuts.


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2014 Aug 16 17:11
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RE: Corvidae: Facts and Photography
Caw! Caw! or The Chronicle of Crows: A Tale of the Spring-time


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Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2014 Aug 27 22:15
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Heart RE: Corvidae: Facts and Photography
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I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2014 Oct 25 14:54
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I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2014 Nov 03 15:30
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RE: Corvidae: Facts and Photography
Quote:Tool-wielding crows are left- or right-beaked: Here's why

by Michelle Starr

Crows can be a lot like us. They can use tools, they can figure out complex puzzles and they predominantly favour one side over another when using tools.

Although we don't really understand how handedness happens, we now know why New Caledonian crows -- famous for their use of tools, such as using sticks to extract grubs from burrows -- are left- or right-beaked. According to a team of researchers at the University of Oxford, it's because one eye is usually stronger than the other.

"If you were holding a brush in your mouth and one of your eyes [was] better than the other at brush length, you would hold the brush so that its tip fell in view of the better eye," said co-author Alejandro Kacelnik. "This is what the crows do."

The way the birds tilt their heads allows them to keep the tip of the stick in view of the eye on the opposite side of their head, the researchers said. Also, their study suggested that their extreme binocular vision -- that is, a very wide field of view compared to other species -- is optimised for viewing with one eye at a time.

"Binocular vision is often connected to allowing the brain to compare the images seen by each eye, inferring properties of the scene from the differences between these images," said study leader Antone Martinho. "We thought that their binocular fields would facilitate binocular vision, perhaps allowing the birds to judge the distance from tool tip to target. It turned out that, most frequently, they only see the tool tip and target with one eye at a time."

What this suggests is that the crows' wide field of view didn't develop so much for binocular vision as it did to allow a wider field of view for monocular vision; that is, to allow each eye to be able to see what is on the other side of the crow's beak.

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2014 Dec 18 18:29
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I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
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RE: Corvidae: Facts and Photography
PERKELE PERKELE

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I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2015 Feb 20 17:18
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RE: Corvidae: Facts and Photography
Here's another crow speciality: hitching lifts on the backs of larger birds. Big Grin Big Grin

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I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2015 Mar 05 16:24
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Post: #60
RE: Corvidae: Facts and Photography
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Whoopee! goes the weasel.
Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals... except the weasel. (Homer Simpson)


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2015 Mar 05 21:54
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