Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snowboarding Crow

When we think of animals playing, we tend to tell ourselves that they do so to hone their skills for living. For example, baby cougars stalk each other and wrestle, skills that they'll need to bring down prey when they're big cougars. But this video is about to make you rethink this explanation for animal play. Why, oh, why, I ask you, does a European Hooded Crow need to practice snowboarding? Answer: he doesn't. He just likes the sensation of whooshing through the snow, just like we do. We're running out of characteristics that divide humans from animals. It used to be "tool use" that made us unique, and then they realized that African monkeys had not only been using tools, but also making them for years -- and that they even passed down their tools from one generation to the next, like a mother passing on her sewing machine to a loyal daughter. So, we said, "Uh, snowboarding? Yeah! That's what makes us different from the beasts!" Think again!

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