London: Crows are smart enough to learn and use tools -- they fly off roofs or poles as soon as you pretend to aim a gun at them, a study reveals.

Researchers A.H. Taylor, D.M. Elliffe, G.R. Hunt, N.J. Emery and N.S. Clayton from the Universities of Auckland (New Zealand) and Cambridge (UK) have led a study showing that crows can learn to use new types of tools, the journal Public Library of Science reported.

In Aesop's Fables, a thirsty crow dropped stones into a jar with little water until the level was within the bird's reach. The crows then preferred to drop large rocks rather than small rocks into the jar to get faster results.

Further experiments showed that the crows' performances were not based on simple learning, which suggests that the crows had some understanding of how the task actually worked, according to a statement by the university.

The study co-authors, therefore, concluded that these crows have cognitive mechanisms beyond simple associative learning that are capable of processing information about novel tool types.

(Agencies)