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Are crows the ultimate problem solvers?

Inside the Animal Mind: Episode 2 – BBC Two

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Alright, can I stay in here? Absolutely, you can sit and watch. We'll see what happens. Right. Come on then, send in your mastermind because it's gonna need that.

Alex studies wild birds, which he releases after 3 months of research.


This one is nicknamed 007, and it's about to attempt what Alex believes is one of the.


Most complex tests of the animal mind ever constructed.
The bird is familiar with the individual objects,

but this is the first time he's seen them arranged like this.
8 separate stages, that must be completed in a specific order if the puzzle is to be solved.

And, if the bird succeeds, it'll be a world first.
He takes time to have a look, and then starts with the short stick.

Stage 1.


He finds it's too short to reach the food.
He then sets off to get the first stone.

But, he drops it.


And another, he seems to be stuck.


But then, something seems to click.


He deploys the first stone.


And then another.


Got it!
The 8th, and final stage.

Success.
8 individual stages of 1 complex puzzle, completed.

That was remarkable.
I've never, ever seen anything like it. Of all of the bird behaviour that I've seen, nothing matches that. I can hardly believe it. I'm still just running that sequence through my mind. It happened really quickly. But, the immediate question is of course: How on earth did that crow do that?

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Chris: Can I stay in here?

Alex: Absolutely, you can sit and watch and we’ll see what happens.

Chris: Come on then, Send in your mastermind – ‘cos it’s gonna need that.

Alex studies wild birds which he releases after three months of research. This one is nicknamed ‘007’, and it’s about to attempt what Alex believes is one of the most complex tests of the animal mind ever constructed. The bird is familiar with the individual objects, but this is the first time he’s seen them arranged like this. Eight separate stages that must be completed in a specific order if the puzzle is to be solved. And, if the bird succeeds it’ll be a world first.

He takes time to have a look and then starts with the short stick. Stage one. He finds it’s too short to reach the food. He then sets off to get the first stone. But he drops it. And another. He seems to be stuck. But then, something seems to click. He deploys the first stone. And then another. Got it! The eighth and final stage. Success. Eight individual stages of one complex puzzle completed.

Chris: That was remarkable. I’ve never, ever seen anything like it. Of all of the bird behaviours I have seen, nothing matches that. I can hardly believe it. I’m still
just running the sequence through my mind. It happened really quickly. But the immediate question is of course; how did that crow do that?

246 words

Summary

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Useful Expressions

absolutely   いいとも

“Can I stay in here?” “Absolutely”

Come on then.   では、しようよ!
mastermind   偉大な知識の持ち主

Come on then, Send in your mastermind (send in the crow)

‘cos   because(口語)

‘cos it’s gonna need that.

be about to…   まさにしようとするところ
attempt   試みる/挑む
complex   複雑な/入り組んだ
construct   構成する

it’s about to attempt what Alex believes is one of the most complex tests of the animal mind ever constructed.

be familiar with…   …に精通している
individual   個々の
object   物体

The bird is familiar with the individual objects

specific   特定の

Eight separate stages that must be completed in a specific order if the puzzle is to be solved.

have a look    見る

He takes time to have a look

too… to—   …すぎてできない

He finds it’s too short to reach the food.

set off    始める

He then sets off to get the first stone.

be stuck   八方塞がり

He seems to be stuck.

deploy   配置する

He deploys the first stone.

remarkable   珍しい

That was remarkable.

never, ever…   決してない

I’ve never, ever seen anything like it.

hardly…   とてもない

I can hardly believe it.

sequence   順序
run through one’s mind   ~の頭をかけめぐる

I’m still just running the sequence through my mind.

immediate   即座の

But the immediate question is of course; how did that crow do that?

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