Pigeon Solves Box and Banana Problem

Posted on July 5, 2009  Comments (6)

Laboratory footage showing a pigeon solving Wolfgang Kohler’s famous box-and-banana problem, which he studied with chimpanzees in the early 1900s. Depending on their previous experience, pigeons could solve this problem in a human-like fashion in as little as a minute. This pigeon has learned to push boxes and to climb, and it has been rewarded with grain for pecking at a small toy banana.

In this situation, the banana is out of reach and the box is not beneath it. At first the pigeon looks confused, then it begins pushing the box – sighting the toy banana as it pushes – and then stops pushing when the box is beneath the banana, then climbs and pecks. This and related studies were summarized in Dr. Epstein‘s 1996 book, Cognition, Creativity, & Behavior.

This is another example of interesting thoughtful bird behavior.

Related: Bird Using Bait to FishBird BrainCool Crow Research

6 Responses to “Pigeon Solves Box and Banana Problem”

  1. PeggyU
    July 6th, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

    It is a bird. Did someone forget to tell it it could fly? Forget the box. 🙂

  2. curiouscat
    July 6th, 2009 @ 9:34 pm

    That is what I thought too.

  3. James
    July 7th, 2009 @ 3:11 am

    I bet if given the chance, all animals would be able to prove how smart they can be. Good video.

  4. Jimmy
    July 7th, 2009 @ 5:46 am

    Lol that’s one of the weirdest videos I’ve seen in days now.. next time they should put a talking dog and I’m on the floor hehe:)

  5. Anonymous
    July 13th, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

    Now that is great! I guess having a bird brain isn’t such a bad thing. It amazes me that the bird didn’t think to flap it’s wings.

  6. Homing Pigeons May Use Low Frequency Sound Maps To Locate Home » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    February 1st, 2013 @ 3:45 am

    […] Pigeon Solves Box and Banana Problem – Cool Research on Crows – Bird Using Bait to Fish – Moth Jams Bat […]

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