A Crow Sledding Down a Roof Is Amazing Even if it Makes No Sense

By Mario Aguilar on at

The scientific community is dumbfounded by this video of a crow sledding down a snowy rooftop on the lid of a jar. JEEZ, BIRD. Don't you know that sledding is only for people?

What possible evolutionary advantage does the crow secure through its capacity to ride down a snow-covered slope on a flat object only to fly back to the top and do it again? Entertaining activities like these are reserved for the higher orders of Kingdom Animalia, stupid bird. You aren't supposed to be smart.

The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal called up a bird expert who was nonplussed but said that while the bird does seem to exhibit some play-like behavior we don't have any context for what the heck is going on so science can't really explain it. More importantly, though, the expert pointed out that what we see as "play" might be something else altogether:

Human beings have a strong, strong, strong tendency that if we see an animal do something that's analogous to what we do, like use a tool or answer an arithmetic question, we assume that the animal is doing it and understands the situation in the same way we do," he said. "And sometimes that's true but more often it's false.

So there you have it. At least the crow looks like it's having fun. [The Atlantic]