Transitive responding in hooded crows requires linearly ordered stimuli.
Eight crows were taught to discriminate overlapping pairs of visual stimuli (A+ B-, B+ C-, C+ D-, and D+ E-). For 4 birds, the stimuli were colored cards with a circle of the same color on the reverse side whose diameter decreased from A to E (ordered feedback group). These circles were made available for comparison to potentially help the crows order the stimuli along a physical dimension. For the other 4 birds, the circles corresponding to the colored cards had the same diameter (constant feedback group). In later testing, a novel choice pair (BD) was presented. Reinforcement history involving stimuli B and D was controlled so that the reinforcement/nonreinforcement ratios for the latter would be greater than for the former. If, during the BD test, the crows chose between stimuli according to these reinforcement/nonreinforcement ratios, then they should prefer D; if they chose according to the diameter of the feedback stimuli, then they should prefer B. In the ordered feedback group, the crows strongly preferred B over D; in the constant feedback group, the crows' choice did not differ significantly from chance. These results, plus simulations using associative models, suggest that the orderability of the postchoice feedback stimuli is important for crows' transitive responding. (+info)
Lateralization of tool use in New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides).
We studied laterality of tool use in 10 captive New Caledonian (NC) crows (Corvus moneduloides). All subjects showed near-exclusive individual laterality, but there was no overall bias in either direction (five were left-lateralized and five were right-lateralized). This is consistent with results in non-human primates, which show strong individual lateralization for tool use (but not for other activities), and also with observations of four wild NC crows by Rutledge & Hunt. Jointly, these results contrast with observations that the crows have a population-level bias for manufacturing tools from the left edges of Pandanus sp. leaves, and suggest that the manufacture and use of tools in this species may have different neural underpinnings. (+info)
Intestinal microflora in 45 crows in Ueno Zoo and the in vitro susceptibilities of 29 Escherichia coli isolates to 14 antimicrobial agents.
Microorganisms from 45 jungle crows (Corvus macrorhynchos) captured from July to December 2002 at Ueno Zoo, Tokyo were identified as Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter agglomerans, Pseudomonas maltophila, Staphylococcus spp., Micrococcus spp., and Streptococcus spp. E. coli showed the highest rate of isolation (21.6%). In an in vitro susceptibility test for 29 isolates of E. coli to 14 antimicrobial agents, all the isolates were resistant to penicillin G, vancomycin, erythromycin, lincomycin, bicozamycin, sulfadimethoxine, and olaquindox. Several isolates of them were also resistant to tetracycline, oxytetracycline, streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and ampicillin. Twenty-nine isolates were divided into 19 serogroups and the most frequently identified serogroups were O8, O114 and O144, which showed the same multidrug-resistant patterns. (+info)
Differential virulence of West Nile strains for American crows.
Crow deaths were observed after West Nile virus (WNV) was introduced into North America, and this phenomenon has subsequently been used to monitor the spread of the virus. To investigate potential differences in the crow virulence of different WNV strains, American Crows were inoculated with Old World strains of WNV from Kenya and Australia (Kunjin) and a North American (NY99) WNV genotype. Infection of crows with NY99 genotype resulted in high serum viremia levels and death; the Kenyan and Kunjin genotypes elicited low viremia levels and minimal deaths but resulted in the generation of neutralizing antibodies capable of providing 100% protection from infection with the NY99 strain. These results suggest that genetic alterations in NY99 WNV are responsible for the crow-virulent phenotype and that increased replication of this strain in crows could spread WNV in North America. (+info)
Ravens, Corvus corax, differentiate between knowledgeable and ignorant competitors.
Human social behaviour is influenced by attributing mental states to others. It is debated whether and to what extent such skills might occur in non-human animals. We here test for the possibility of ravens attributing knowledge about the location of food to potential competitors. In our experiments, we capitalize on the mutually antagonistic interactions that occur in these birds between those individuals that store food versus those that try to pilfer these caches. Since ravens' pilfer success depends on memory of observed caches, we manipulated the view of birds at caching, thereby designing competitors who were either knowledgeable or ignorant of cache location and then tested the responses of both storers and pilferers to those competitors at recovery. We show that ravens modify their cache protection and pilfer tactics not simply in response to the immediate behaviour of competitors, but also in relation to whether or not they previously had the opportunity of observing caching. Our results suggest that the birds not only recall whom they had seen during caching, but also know that obstacles can obstruct the view of others and that this affects pilfering. (+info)
Induction of cytochrome P450 1A5 mRNA, protein and enzymatic activities by dioxin-like compounds, and congener-specific metabolism and sequestration in the liver of wild jungle crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) from Tokyo, Japan.
This study presents concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and dioxin-like coplanar PCBs (Co-PCBs) in the liver and breast muscle of jungle crows (JCs; Corvus macrorhynchos) collected from Tokyo, Japan. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalents (TEQs) derived by WHO bird-TEF were in the range of 23 to 280 pg/g (lipid) in the liver, which are lower or comparable to the lowest-observed-effect-level of CYP induction in chicken, and 5.6-78 pg/g (lipid) in the pectoral muscle. Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A-, 2B-, 2C-, and 3A-like proteins were detected using anti-rat CYP polyclonal antibodies in hepatic microsomal fractions. Significant (p < 0.05) positive correlations between hepatic TEQs and CYP1A or CYP3A-like protein expression levels were noticed, implying induction of these CYP isozymes by TEQs. On the other hand, there was no significant positive correlation between muscle TEQ and any one of analyzed CYP isozyme expression levels. CYP1A- and CYP3A-like protein expression levels represented better correlations with pentoxy- and benzyloxyresorufin-O-dealkylase activities rather than methoxy- and ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase activities, indicating unique catalytic functions of these CYPs in JCs. Furthermore, we succeeded in isolating CYP1A5 cDNA from the liver of JC, having an open reading frame of 531 amino acid residues with a predicted molecular mass of 60.3 kDa. JC CYP1A5 mRNA expression measured by real-time RT-PCR had a significant positive correlation with hepatic TEQs, suggesting induction of CYP1A5 at the transcriptional level. Ratios of several Co-PCB congeners to CB-169 in the liver of JCs revealed significant negative correlations with CYP1A protein or CYP1A5 mRNA expression levels, implying metabolism of these congeners by the induced CYP1A. The liver/breast muscle concentration (L/M) ratios of PCDDs/DFs and CB-169 increased with an increase in hepatic CYP1A protein or CYP1A5 mRNA expression levels, suggesting congener-specific hepatic sequestrations by the induced CYP1A. The present study provides insights into the propensity of CYP1A induction to the exposure of dioxin-like chemicals, and unique metabolic and sequestration capacities of CYP1A in JC. (+info)
Dead crow density and West Nile virus monitoring, New York.
New York State used the health commerce system to monitor the number of West Nile virus (WNV) human disease cases and the density of dead crows. In each year from 2001 to 2003 and for the 3 years combined, persons living in New York counties (excluding New York City) with elevated weekly dead crow densities (above a threshold value of 0.1 dead crows per square mile) had higher risk (2.0-8.6 times) for disease caused by WNV within the next 2 weeks than residents of counties reporting fewer dead crows per square mile. This type of index can offer a real-time, relatively inexpensive window into viral activity in time for prevention and control. Changes in reporting, bird populations, and immunity may require that thresholds other than 0.1 be used in later years or in other areas. (+info)
Protective behavior and West Nile virus risk.
We conducted a cross-sectional, household survey in Oakville, Ontario, where an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2002 led to an unprecedented number of cases of meningitis and encephalitis. Practicing > or =2 personal protective behavior traits reduced the risk for WNV infection by half. (+info)