Home » Pets & Animals » Pets » Birds » Researchers taught African grey parrots to buy food using tokens. They were then paired up, one parrot given ten tokens and the other none. Without any incentive for sharing, parrots with tokens started to give some to their broke partners so that everyone could eat.

Researchers taught African grey parrots to buy food using tokens. They were then paired up, one parrot given ten tokens and the other none. Without any incentive for sharing, parrots with tokens started to give some to their broke partners so that everyone could eat.

Parrots Will Share Currency to Help Their Pals Purchase Food

Parrots go bonkers for walnuts.

After snatching the seeds, these brightly plumed birds crack into them with glee. When offered the nuts as a prize, parrots will do tricks, solve puzzles and learn complex tasks. They’ll even trade currency for them in the form of small metal rings passed into the hands of human researchers.

“They all really like the walnuts,” says Désirée Brucks, an animal behaviorist at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. “They don’t get them in their normal diet, so it’s quite a good reward.”

But despite the nuts’ value—or perhaps because of it—parrots are also willing to share their treats and the tokens to buy them with other birds. Given the option, the birds will transfer the precious metal rings to a friend in a ne… Continue Reading (5 minute read)

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