Which cup is the nut hidden under? Cockatoos figure it out quite easily in some cases – but not in others, as you see in these four tests:
In case you weren’t sure what the four tests were, here’s the basic idea:
It’s all to with “object permanence” – knowing where something is, even when you can’t actually see it.
Human babies generally take a couple of years to figure out, for example, that when one of their toys is covered up it’s still there, even if it’s out of sight.
Until quite recently, it was thought that only humans and great apes had much sense of “object permanence.” But the tests in the video show that the cockatoo have it figured out quite well, too.
For a better understanding of what each test is showing, and why birds would be particularly good at it, check out this article in Nature World News.
And finally, a note to gullible humans (like me): If you think knowing where the nut is means you can win at a round of Three Card Monte on a street corner in New York City, it has nothing to do with “object permanence.” You’ve simply been had. Here’s how it works: