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Unexpected Animals That Use Tools

We know many birds use tools—but how about entire toolboxes? Researchers working with Goffin’s cockatoos found that the birds can not only use tools like sharp sticks and straws to access foodbut they can flexibly switch between implementations based on their needs. They even knew to bring along more than one needed tool before starting their efforts. “We’ve learned how dexterous the cockatoos are when using a toolset, and we have a lot of things to follow-up on,” one of the researchers, Antonio Osuna-Mascaró, said in a statement. “The switching behavior is very interesting to us, and we are definitely going to use it to explore their decision making and their metacognition—their ability to recognize their own knowledge.”

In other words, while some animals will occasionally use tools, the cockatoos weare clever enough to manipulate a toolkit to their will during the course of a single task.

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