Clever crow toboggans down rooftop on a jar lid

By Joel BuxtonJoel Buxton

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If you’re a crow caught outside in the frigid Russian winter, there’s only one thing to do: hit the slopes.

Hilarious video evidence has surfaced on Youtube of a crow using what looks to be a jar lid to toboggan down a roof. What at first looks like an accident is clearly a repetitive game of sliding for the playful bird.

Long maligned as a symbol of danger, disease, and death, the crow has received a pretty bad rap over the years, perhaps due to its ominous black feathers. Heck, a group of crows is even called a murder.

But this amazing video is a great testament to the intelligence of these resourceful animals. The crow not only exhibits tool-using behaviour, which is a primary consideration when evaluating animal intelligence, but it also demonstrates the crow having fun. Considering that most animals focus exclusively on sleeping, eating and mating, a bird that blows off steam with a little winter sports is remarkable indeed.

The corvid family, which also includes ravens, is known for its intelligence. In the past, crows have been observed bending wire into specific tools, as well as using traffic intersections to aid in cracking the shells of nuts. Seems it was just a matter of time until they discovered bobsledding.

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Joel Buxton