[ExI] vultures sneeze
spike66 at att.net
Sat Jan 17 18:24:18 UTC 2015
Crows and ravens are special birds, and are perhaps the easiest wild birds to observe: they like people. Or they like to mess with people. Seagulls are like that too. They play, they seem curious, they do fun stuff.
BillW, we have a few ravens who have discovered how to put walnuts in the road and let cars run over them, but even better now. There is a phenomenon in my neighborhood where a raven with a nut will perch on top of a light pole on the corner. When she hears a garage door opening, she takes the nut, swoops down and places it in the driveway, then flies away to watch. You are the one who asked if dogs reason. Answer: sure they do, and this bird is demonstrating that this bird reasons too. She knows that when a garage door opens, a car will come out, and cars crush nuts and a bird can’t get to the contents of a nut unless it is crushed.
Cars are recent, automatic garage door openers are even more recent. That bird at some point reasoned out a cause and effect relationship and acted on it. Conclusion: some birds definitely use reason, and it is clear enough that dogs and cats do as well. I don’t think you will find too many dog and cat owners who will dispute that notion, or if so, I am interested in their evidence.
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2015 10:02 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] vultures sneeze
Get 'The Secret Life of Garden Birds' and you will be totally amazed, especially at the social systems of crows and ravens. Not to be sneezed at.
On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 11:20 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
Well, I’ll be damn. No, the subject line isn’t the name of the new hip hop group. I have been watching birds and wildlife for half a century and today I saw something completely new and unexpected: vultures sneeze.
I have heard that chirping in birds might have some other purpose besides intra-species communication; clearing of the airways analogous to mammal’s sneezing. But that wouldn’t apply to non-chirpers such as carnivorous birds in general.
Vultures are difficult to observe beasts; they don’t like people much. A vulture had a snake in my neighbor’s backyard this morning. As he was devouring his snake he did something that looks exactly like a mammalian sneeze: with the side-to-side head shaking immediately after the discharge, a little like what dogs, cats and humans sometimes do.
I went for my video camera and made a bunch of video, but none of it is particularly YouTube-able. That sneeze would have been, but he didn’t repeat the behavior.
Conclusion: at least one example of a species of carnivorous bird sneezes.
extropy-chat mailing list
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the extropy-chat