Hook innovation boosts foraging efficiency in tool-using crows

James J. H. St Clair, Barbara C. Klump, Shoko Sugasawa, Caitlin G. Higgott, Nick Colegrave, Christian Rutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The New Caledonian crow is the only non-human animal known to craft hooked tools in the wild, but the ecological benefit of these relatively complex tools remains unknown. Here, we show that crows acquire food several times faster when using hooked rather than non-hooked tools, regardless of tool material, prey type and extraction context. This implies that small changes to tool shape can strongly affect energy-intake rates, highlighting a powerful driver for technological advancement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-444
Number of pages4
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


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