Netizens love this humorous Tumblr post on the intellectual contrast between crows and keas

It is natural to think that we humans have an advantage over other living beings on this planet just because we have opposing thumbs. But this does not mean that other living beings are not as smart as we are, with what we are all given.

Take, for example, some types of birds. Corvids, crows, parrots and the like. No opposing thumbs. But they are geniuses, all things considered.

As well as this thread on tumblr explained how smart these birds are, especially the kea. The viral thread explains in an extremely entertaining way what makes kea smart and therefore mischievous.

More information: tumblr

Keas may not have opposing thumbs, but they are extremely intelligent birds.

Image Credits: Buffy May

Tumblr user (Tamblonian? Tumblr? Tumblr person?) homunculus-argument expressed their passion for corvids and parrots. In particular, they pointed out how damn smart these birds really are.

But there’s one major difference to be made here: Corvids seem to be more serious about how they use their intelligence, while parrots… well, let’s just say they’re good at parties for a reason.

And one Tumblr user pointed out the uniqueness of their display of intelligence compared to the same smart crows.

Image Credits: homunculus-argument

The homunculus was specifically related to the kea, a species of large parrot found in New Zealand. Mountain Clowns. This species appears to have a very specific “playtime” vocalization.

Smart people, also known as scientists, determined this playtime can be evoked between two keas—two in all, completely on their own—by playing one particular vocalization. The Kea, completely ignoring the fact that there is a disembodied voice calling them to play, just start going crazy.

The OP gave an analogy to their respective intelligence in a Bird University sketch they made, so it’s a prop!

Image Credits: homunculus-argument

Image Credits: homunculus-argument

The OP illustrated this difference between corvids and parrots by explaining the two birds as “students”: a crow, enrolled in a top university to study astrophysics, sits down in “Very Serious Class 101” fully determined to excel at everything. … and the guy next to him “takes notes hands-free, with a shiny pen he sticks up his nose.” Surprisingly good notes, mind you.

They even provided a neat illustration of it. Props.

But, as stated above, kea are insanely smart in their own way, as you can see from the way they initiate game time

Image Credits: Scientific American

Sign in to Tumbleronian tricksri, which went one step further in explaining. First they start by explaining what this gene is…PLXNC1 or “Plexin”. It appears to be responsible (among many things) for enhancing neuronal function and correlates with enhanced cognition in humans, mainly in language.

It turns out that parrots have it. And using genomic alignment toolsTrixri deciphered the gene sequence and compared humans and parrots. Surprisingly, kea carry the gene with 79.42% identity compared to humans.

Notorious for its mischievous nature, the bird carries a language-learning gene homologous to our own as a species, demonstrating its superior learning and intelligence abilities. And they use it to troll tourists and enjoy life whenever there is a random noise during the game.

Another Tumblr user went beyond the above explanation by pointing to the gene responsible for kea’s intelligence.

Image Credits: tricksri

Not only that, but the cognitive abilities of birds also include predictive reasoning – you know, the ability to understand that your actions have consequences and such – and this is very developed for an animal. Hell, some people can’t even half of what kea can, cognitively – that’s how advanced they really are.

Trixri concluded by saying, “Kea did say, ‘I will use my superior intelligence to have a good time.’ [effin’] time,” and it’s so powerful, to be honest.”

Using genome alignment tools, the Tumbleronians concluded that the plexin gene is actually about 80% similar between humans and Kea.

Image Credits: Bernard Spragg. New Zealand

Image Credits: tricksri

Scientific American is there a video illustrating this playing time among the kea, explaining that this “chuckle” (vocalization) drives them into a kind of playful frenzy. This can manifest itself in everything from jumping and wrestling to aerial acrobatics.

As for how naughty keas really are, there are footage from CCTV cameras about a kea pushing traffic cones in hopes of stopping cars – it’s likely that the contents of said cars will offer food as payment to open the road.

But instead of boring everyone with scientific talk, they presented the information in a form accessible to all – anthropomorphism, swearing and all capital letters.

Image Credits: Kenneth Lu

Image Credits: tricksri

And then there was that time kea stole GoPro and flew away. Why? Why not? This is probably what kea was thinking. Maybe it’s for ransom. As a result, the owner found the stolen camera and took the unique shots.

But back to the thread. The post’s educational yet extremely entertaining narrative led to quite a bit of success on Tumblr, receiving almost 94,000 notes from Tumblrese users.

So, “kea really said, ‘I will use my superior intellect to have a good time.’ [effin’] time,” and it’s so powerful, to be honest.”

Image Credits: Pingrow Press

As always, you can check out the original thread here. Or, if you want more amazing articles about birds, here are the first, second, third and fourth.

But before you fly off into the distance, why not tweet, tweet, or otherwise share your bird’s eye view of what you’ve learned here in the comments section below!

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