Crows Can Recognize Your Face And Remember You Afterwards

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

Biologist John M. Marzluff was the first person to test crows' ability to recognize and remember faces. By having scientists who captured the crows wear caveman masks, he was able to study the birds' reactions to the masks in the months after they were released. He found that the crows would scold people who wore the masks, and that they seemed to instruct other crows to scold them as well. Before long, most of the crows on the campus were yelling at anyone who wore the caveman mask-and ignoring people who wore a "neutral" Dick Cheney mask.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. After capturing and releasing crows while wearing a caveman mask, scientists found that wild crows would "scold" people who wore the mask in the future. 00:45

  2. Crows seem to tell one another which humans are "friends" and "foes." 01:02

  3. Crows can remember the face of an "enemy" human for more than two years. 01:43

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.