As human beings, we distinguish ourselves from other animal species of our planet because of our highly developed cognitive abilities that enabled sentient intelligence. There is no doubt that the human race as a species is the most cognitively advanced species on this planet because of our physical characteristics that we enable with the use of our expanded intelligence. One of the reasons our brains evolved this way was because our earliest evolutionary ancestors used crude tools to give themselves survival advantages. Things like sharpening a rock into an arrowhead to use for hunting, or sparking flint to make fire. These little actions created advancements in our neural networks of our brain and has such continued for millennia through generations allowing the human brain to get to the point that it is at today.
However, just because we have the most developed brain does not mean we are the only animal species who use tools to fulfill needs. In fact, there are a very small percentage of animal species that have cognitive abilities that allow them to develop skills such as using crude tools. A new study claims that an endangered species of Hawaiian crow, known as the Alala, can efficiently use sticks as tools. Now this is not very surprising because it has long been known that some species of crows have the ability to use tools for themselves. As more species of crows are being discovered to have this shared trait as a natural characteristic of their behavior, it is now being assumed that this is a natural evolutionary trait for crows and not just a consequence of crows being kept in captivity.
The study was being conducted on the endangered species of the Hawaiian crow while 115 Alala were being kept in captivity, because they are extinct in the wild. The biologists who care for the Alala and conducted this research plan to release captive Alala’s back into the wild at a rate of 12 birds per year for the next four years, in an attempt to save and restore the species back to existence in natural habitats.