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Published on Nov 6, 2012
A cockatoo from a species not known to use tools in the wild has been observed spontaneously making and using tools for reaching food and other objects. A Goffin's cockatoo called 'Figaro', that has been reared in captivity and lives near Vienna, used his powerful beak to cut long splinters out of wooden beams in its aviary, or twigs out of a branch, to reach and rake in objects out of its reach. Researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Vienna filmed Figaro making and using these tools. How the bird discovered how to make and use tools is unclear but shows how much we still don't understand about the evolution of innovative behaviour and intelligence. A report of the research is published in Current Biology.