In other blog posts,
I have told of the intelligence of ravens, crows, and other corvids. These birds have been shown to
use tools, create tools, and communicate danger to others in their area. Recently, another study
has shown greater detail on the communication abilities of these remarkable
birds. The study shows that when one raven dislikes its food choices, this mood
toward food can be passed along to others such that they have a negative
expectation of their food choices as well, even before the naive ravens had any idea of
what might be in a food box. Thus, the “glass half-empty” attitude was communicated
and transferred to other ravens who had not yet had a reason to be pessimistic.
The “how” of this empathy transference is unclear but it is likely the same
mechanism used to warn fellow crows about dangerous individuals on a university campus.
More studies are needed to bring light to the amazing social communication of
these birds. Watch this blog and Science
for more developments.

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