Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

How far will a behaviourally flexible invasive bird go to innovate?

There are no MPG-Authors in the publication available
External Resource
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)

(Publisher version), 666KB

Supplementary Material (public)

(Supplementary material), 2MB


Logan, C. J. (2016). How far will a behaviourally flexible invasive bird go to innovate? Royal Society Open Science, 3(6): 160247. doi:10.1098/rsos.160247.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-C6A7-1
Behavioural flexibility is considered a key factor in the ability to adapt to changing environments. A traditional way of characterizing behavioural flexibility is to determine whether individuals invent solutions to novel problems, termed innovativeness. Great-tailed grackles are behaviourally flexible in that they can change their preferences when a task changes using existing behaviours; however, it is unknown how far they will go to invent solutions to novel problems. To begin to answer this question, I gave grackles two novel tests that a variety of other species can perform: stick tool use and string pulling. No grackle used a stick to access out-of-reach food, even after seeing a human demonstrate the solution. No grackle spontaneously pulled a vertically oriented string, but one did pull a horizontally oriented string twice. Additionally, a third novel test was previously conducted on these individuals and it was found that no grackle spontaneously dropped stones down a platform apparatus to release food, but six out of eight did become proficient after training. These results support the idea that behavioural flexibility is a multi-faceted trait because grackles are flexible, but not particularly innovative. This contradicts the idea that behavioural flexibility and innovativeness are interchangeable terms.