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Tiny cameras spy on crows making tools

Scientists have the first footage of tropical crows fashioning tools in the wild.

It's well-known that crows are smart enough to make tools. However, catching that crafting on video is sometimes a big challenge -- unless you lure the birds to a feeding site, you probably won't see the behavior. That's where the University of Exeter is coming to save the day. It recently developed cameras that are small and light enough to sit on crows and record their activity, letting scientists get the first footage of New Caledonian crows making foraging tools in the wild. The cams even have microSD cards and radio beacons to help recover footage when the devices slide off after a few days.

The cameras are already leading to new findings. For instance, the crows don't just toss their tools aside after they're done -- they'll fetch the stick-based instruments if they fall to the ground. The data supports beliefs that crows' intelligence matches that of some primates, and it won't be surprising if there are more discoveries in the pipeline.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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