Crow Faced

If you think a crow is looking at you with malice in its eyes…chances are it is. Wild crows can recognise individual human faces and hold a grudge for years, according to research.

If you think a crow is looking at you with malice in its eyes…chances are it is. Wild crows can recognise individual human faces and hold a grudge for years, according to research. "This ability – which may also exist in other wild animals – highlights how carefully some animals monitor the humans with whom they share living space. Field biologists have observed that crows seem to recognise them, and a few researchers have even gone to the extreme of wearing masks when capturing birds to band (or ‘ring’) them, so that they could later observe the birds without upsetting them. However, it was unclear whether the birds distinguish people by their faces or by other distinctive features of dress, gait or behaviour. To find out, John Marzluff at the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues donned a rubber caveman mask and then captured and banded wild American crows. Whenever a person wearing the same mask approached those crows later, the birds scolded them loudly. In contrast, they ignored the same person wearing a mask of former US Vice-President Dick Cheney, which had never been worn during banding. ‘Most of the time you walk right up to them and they don't care at all,’ says Marzluff."

COVID-19 amplified America’s devastating health gap. Can we bridge it?

The COVID-19 pandemic is making health disparities in the United States crystal clear. It is a clarion call for health care systems to double their efforts in vulnerable communities.

Willie Mae Daniels makes melted cheese sandwiches with her granddaughter, Karyah Davis, 6, after being laid off from her job as a food service cashier at the University of Miami on March 17, 2020.

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Sponsored by Northwell Health
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  • Studies show disparities in wealth, race, and online access have disproportionately harmed underserved U.S. communities during the pandemic.
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With just a few strategical tweaks, the Nazis could have won one of World War II's most decisive battles.

Photo: Heinrich Hoffmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
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The next era in American history can look entirely different. It's up to us to choose.

Videos
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A new MIT report proposes how humans should prepare for the age of automation and artificial intelligence.

An employee cleans around early test robot displays at the Akin Robotics factory on March 15, 2018 in Konya, Turkey.

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • A new report by MIT experts proposes what humans should do to prepare for the age of automation.
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  • Improving economic inequality, skills training, and investment in innovation are necessary steps.
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