10 Incredible Facts About Ravens

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Ravens have long been associated with darkness, foreboding, and death. Long before Poe immortalized ravens in the horror genre, they appeared in the Old Testament in reference to the destruction of Edom.

In the smoldering remains of wrathful destruction, nothing was permitted to pass through except ravens. It was totally cool if they lived there. As you can imagine, this didn’t do much to bolster their image.

Beyond acting as harbingers of death and adorning spooky Halloweenscapes, ravens are actually highly intelligent, adaptable, and truly fascinating creatures.

10. They Are Crazy Smart

People have always known that ravens are smart. That’s nothing new. But we are just beginning to discover exactly how smart these common scavengers really are. Ravens are now said to have “humanlike” intelligence, which is actually a big deal. The Corvidae family, of which ravens are a part, includes crows, magpies, jays, and jackdaws. This entire family of birds holds the prestigious title of being considered among the smartest birds in the world.

A 2002 study in Science showed that a New Caledonian crow could bend a piece of wire into the shape of a hook so that it could retrieve food from a narrow space. Young children were presented the same puzzle and were unable to match the mental dexterity of our feathered friends.

A study conducted by researchers in the biology department of a Moscow university proved that crows are capable of analogical reasoning after testing the birds with a series of flash cards in a matching game. When correct matches were made, the crows were rewarded with mealworms. Matching things is considered to be a higher-order reasoning process, and these birds already possessed the capacity without extensive training.

Ravens have been seen sliding on snow with makeshift sleds made of bark and examining human-made objects that they find. They’re creative and adaptable, and they’re disproving one hater at a time that “birdbrained” is not really an insult.

9. They Have A Special Friendship With Wolves

There’s no doubt that wolves possess the strength and savvy to hunt by themselves, but it is not the most efficient method for them thanks to their feathered friends. During a recent study, it was observed that within a minute of wolves dropping a moose, ravens were already on it. It is estimated that a pair of wolves will lose almost 40 percent of that moose to ravens. With six wolves, on the other hand, ravens are only able to make off with about 17 percent of it.

Though ravens and wolves may seem like unlikely bedfellows, it is a mutually beneficial relationship even if it looks like wolves are getting the short end of the straw here.

For ravens, it makes sense to follow wolves around and scavenge the remains of their kills. One raven can scavenge 1.8 kilograms (4 lb) in a day from a 450-kilogram (1,000 lb) moose. Now imagine what several ravens could do. Scientists believe that this is exactly why wolves hunt in packs.

To pull their weight in this friendship, ravens lead wolves to animal carcasses that the ravens can’t eat because their beaks aren’t strong enough to break through the bodies of the dead animals. When wolves are preoccupied with their kill, ravens also alert them to suspicious sounds and potential danger.

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