Research confirms that ‘cockies’ learn unique bin-opening behavior by copying others — ScienceDaily

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For the first time, a team of international scientists have proven that cockatoos, an iconic Australian bird species, learn from each other a unique skill — lifting garbage bin lids to gather food. The world-first research published today in Science, confirms that cockatoos spread this novel behavior through social learning. Led by Barbara Klump and Lucy Aplin (Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior), along with John Martin (Taronga Conservation Society) and Richard Major (Australian Museum), the team have shown that this behavior by cockatoos is actually learnt, rather than a result of genetics.

Lead co-author, Barbara Klump, said social learning is the basis of different regional cultures, and some animals, such as primates and birds, appear to learn socially. “Children are masters of social learning. From an early age, they copy skills from other children and adults. However,…

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