Loot From My Late Night Quests for Knowledge

I often go on late night internet rabbit holes to learn the most random things. I havent done a good job of saving the information in any way so currently I only have some information on crows and other corvids but I'm hoping to do a better job at taking notes or at least saving sources to share with other people. This might not get updated frequently, but whenever it does, I'll put a notice on the main page.

I will be sharing links to sources when possible so if you want more information, it's right there for you to explore. I might include past essays that I think might be interesting. We'll see. Think of this as a crow nest on your windowsill. You might get a priceless watch that you will remember forever or a pretty gum wrapper with a fun pattern. Either way I hope that it will be at least entertaining for you!

Also when I post a link, if it is behind a pay wall or there is no way to read it, I have both Sci-hub and 12ft ladder at the top of the page. They are both life savers to researching and one of them should work to let you read the article.

Corvids

※An experiment showed that Wild American Crows seeing either a human or an animal predator with a dead crow leads to both mobbing and avoiding the area for up to 48 hours. This behavior is continued even if it risks losing abundant food or shelter.

They can also be seen gathering around the bodies of other crows and vocalizing like they are holding a funeral. However, it is believed that it is not due to mourning but instead to communicate about dangerous places and avoid causes of the death. If a person caused the death, crows that hold that territory are shown to hold memories of that person for up to 6 weeks.

  • "Wild American crows use funerals to learn about danger"

    ※ Corvids are highly innovative. they can manufacture tools, spontaneously solve novel problems, use tactical deception and can learn from birds of the same species. In fact, there is increasing evidence that they independently evolved brains and associated cognitive abilities similar to those of primates.

    Crows, especially New Caledonian crows, have a larger brain mass to body mass ratio than many other birds. this is due to the avian mesopallium and nidopallium regions being larger than average. these two regions of the brain are involved in cognitive functtions like flexibility working memory, and context integration. They have also shown considerable amounts of behavioural flexability compared to other avian species which is also thought to be due to the larger brain regions.

  • "Extraordinary large brains in tool-using New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides)"

    ※ Crows are capable of self-recognition. At first this ability was assumed to only belong to humans before testing showed that other primates also possessed it. Other animals that have also demonstrated self-recognition are Asian elephants, Dolphins (this this behaviour was only observed in one individual and has not been tested in other individuals), Eurasian magpies, and most recently, a small fish known as cleaner wrasses.

    This ability is different from being able to recognize an animal of the same species in that the animal is able to recognize and acknowledge the image or reflection as themselves and acts in a way that demonstrates this knowledge. This is usually tested by placing an inconspicuous mark is placed on the neck or beak of the crow where they can only see it in the mirror and then studying how closely the crow inspects the mark and how it reacts. Some observed reactions are trying to touch it or scratch it off and looking for other similar spots on itself.

  • "Self-recognition in corvids"

  • An alternatve to grass lawns

    And why I hate them

    The lawn emerged during the 16th century renaissance by the wealthy in both France and England. While a similar form existed during the middle ages as village commons for farmers to graze their animals, the wealthy first came up with the idea of having large spaces of unused space purely for beauty or entertainment. These first lawns were originally planted with chamomile or thyme instead of plain grass. (both of these make great lawn alternatives).

    In 17th century england, grass lawns finally emerged. The lawn was originally a symbol of wealth because without the lawnmower, only the wealthy had the money or time to maintain a short grass lawn. Over time, lawns migrated from associated to the wealthy and community spaces to ordinary house yards. Along with this came several problems. Most notably, this increase in wasted space both encroaches on the natural habitat and wastes a lot of water, money, and time to uphold rather than a more natural alternative.

    Some alternatives to grass lawns are more natural meadows, cottage gardens, edible lawns or gardens, or simply adding more plants to grow along with the grass. Each option has its own pros and cons depending on where you live, your money budget, and how much time or effort you're willing ot give to it. Possibly the easiest is simply adding ground cover to your yard. This can either replace the whole yard, part of it, or simply mixed in between. There are many different alternatives that would work depending on your climate, soil, and how often you mow.

  • You can read more about ground cover here.