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US Considered Using Crows to Catch Bin Laden?!

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posted on May, 16 2011 @ 11:21 PM
I heard about this very interesting, and SURPRISING, study recently on one of Adam Carolla's podcasts (I know, I know- obscure reference lol- I highly recommend his podcasts though, really funny stuff!)

EDGAR ALLEN POE- Eat your heart out

Friend or Foe? Crows Never Forget a Face it Seems

John M. Marzluff, a wildlife biologist at the University of Washington, has studied crows and ravens for more than 20 years and has long wondered if the birds could identify individual researchers.

To test the birds’ recognition of faces separately from that of clothing, gait and other individual human characteristics, Dr. Marzluff and two students wore rubber masks. He designated a caveman mask as “dangerous” and, in a deliberate gesture of civic generosity, a Dick Cheney mask as “neutral.” Researchers in the dangerous mask then trapped and banded seven crows on the university’s campus in Seattle.

n the months that followed, the researchers and volunteers donned the masks on campus, this time walking prescribed routes and not bothering crows.

The crows had not forgotten. They scolded people in the dangerous mask significantly more than they did before they were trapped, even when the mask was disguised with a hat or worn upside down. The neutral mask provoked little reaction. The effect has not only persisted, but also multiplied over the past two years.

And apparently, the US government got word of this research and decided to take action...

US Military Planned Using Spy Crows to Catch Bin Laden

The United States military funded research into using networks of 'spy crows' to locate soldiers who are missing in action, and extended the work to see if the birds might be useful in helping them to find Osama bin Laden.

"So, they have a long term memory, very acute discrimination abilities, and if a group of crows knew bin Laden as an enemy, they would certainly indicate his presence when they next saw him," he says. "One of the experimental branches of research that was used to try to find him was to have crows or ravens of the local area trained to identify his face."

And here's video from Marzluff's lecture on crows/ravens from his 20+ years of extensive research, as well as the facial recognition study:
*The discussion regarding the study begins in PART 3/5 and continues through PARTS 4 AND 5.

John Marzluff- In the Company of Crows and Ravens
PART 1/5

PART 2/5

PART 3/5

PART 4/5

PART 5/5

On a personal note, I was REALLY surprised to hear about this.
PRIMARILY that the research suggests the information was somehow (and this is the part that remains unexplained) communicated to other crows and offspring.
on a side note-
Adam Carolla proposed personal 'crow security detail'
...not a bad idea IMO- I mean, the last thing any attacker would expect would be a murder of crows swooping down and getting all gangster like in his/her face! SIGN ME UP

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