This podcast episode we talk about the Raven! Relax, unwind, and join me in the forests, where we learn all about this incredibly intelligent puzzle-solving bird.
To go straight to the facts; they start at 7:28
If you would like to learn more, the resources used in this episode are listed below:
If you would like to listen to a full audio course available on listenable.io about animals and their amazing abilities written and narrated by Stefan Wolfe, please click this link and use coupon code "stefanwolfe" at checkout for a free 7-day trial.
Thanks for listening, please visit relaxwithanimalfacts.com for everything to do with the podcast!
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
hello everyone well come back to relax with animal facts I am Steph wolf and today I am going to be learning with you about our furry scaly or possibly even slimy friends and in today's case it is definitely going to be a feathery friend of ours because we are covering the %HESITATION soul wonderful raven this of course is a very very special listener episode dedicated to Theresa who wrote in via Instagram to reset I hope you enjoy your very own special episode and I know how giddy and excited you were to learn about the raven if you want to request an animal on the show and have a particular animal that you think is super super cool you can write into the show in notch one of three ways but in one of four ways now the first way and the most popular way seems to be writing N. via the Instagram the Instagram handle is at relax with animal facts you can also alternatively send an email to relax with animal facts at G. mail dot com and then the new way you can request an animal is right on the website relax with animal facts dot com the brand new website is up you can request your animals you can leave even voicemails for a possibility of being featured on the show everything is in one place for you to find it and so if you would like to do that I greatly encourage you to do so the final way is one that has not yet been redeemed and that is to train a carrier pigeon and fly it over to request your animal I know that many of you are likely so scrambling trying to find carrier pigeons and trying to find a way to train them to send them and I assure you that the first person to ever send me a carrier pigeon their animal request will have to be given top priority for those of you that want more of the podcast and would like to take even deeper dives of the animals that we learn about each week make sure to go to the patriotic page relax with animal facts where we basically continue each episode in a deeper dive all of the tears get exactly the same content so it is just a matter of giving however much you would like to give I wanted to make sure that these exclusive continuation episodes were available to as many of you as possible so I would like to move to the review portion of the show which is always super exciting for me and this is coming from a user named animal master five and they are writing all the way from Great Britain and so now for the first time in a long time I can say that it is coming all the way from somewhere instead of all the way from the United States which I am quite near animal master five rights just amazing that's all I have to say thank you animal master for a short and sweet review earnestness is not necessarily attached to the length of a review or a message and so I greatly cherish your review animal master five if you you wish to leave a review like animal master five did perhaps the show has been a help to you in some sense and you want to give back to the show you are greatly encouraged to do so it means the world perhaps even you wish to leave a not so nice review in that case please don't just leave a one star leave a one star with a bit of message as to why because perhaps you have something very valuable to say that could help the show get better and so with all of those things aside just before we get into the main part of the show I just am going to say where I got my facts from because I am not a treasury of animal knowledge but rely greatly upon different articles and resources and for this particular episode for the raven episode I got my facts from mental floss dot com kid eighty L. dot com bird sphere dot com and lastly for the name of the raven what does it mean it is coming from the website at Tim online dot com for those of you that wish to dive deeper into this animal perhaps you want to learn about even more animals I'm sure that all of those resources have some information that you would find very interesting now with all of those things aside I want you all to take a second to notice perhaps where you're carrying some tension you might be surprised to see that your shoulders act as a sort of your maaf we're shoulders are coming up and covering your ears to shelter you from the cold but really it is not all that necessary at this point in time so I want you to take a second to see where that is for you in my case it is often times in the shoulders I am a big shrug %HESITATION and so I'm going to attempt to relax those portions of my body and I greatly encourage you all to do so as we go into this immersive experience with me Steph war into the forests where the raven resides many of you have likely heard that coal before of the raven and while it may seem something common the rest of this animal and its special characteristics is anything but common the first fact is that we are going to cover regarding the raven is its habitats at the top of the show we decided to go into the forests where the raven resides but we can also find them in a couple of different places ravens can be found in the open lands the tundra is the desert's towns and cities and forests is just one of those they are going to be widely spread across the northern hemisphere because of the fact that they can adapt to any surrounding really ranging from hot desert areas of the southwest two the whole arctic from the Arctic Circle so the raven really is a total trooper and can live in a vast variety of environments so now let me just Scooch back and talk about what type of animal is the raven Suez were going through the forests here and we can see the raven what are we really going to see what kind of animal is it there are a few different kinds of raven one being a common raven another the no are there in raven and another the western raven and it is a passerine bird that is widely spread from the crow's family they can really be distinguished with that distinct very pitch black coloration that they have along with a relatively large size when compared with other small birds that you might be accustomed to seeing depending on where you live of course if you live in a city the majority of those other smaller birds are going to be out classed greatly by the size of the raven so what class of animal does a raven belong to this large passerine bird that belongs to the core of a day family under the class of AV's will come under the pass reforms order and its scientific name is wait for it Corvus corax as I said in the previous episode the people who are naming the animals seem to have been going a little bit soft on me as of late I am actually able to pronounce some of these names the raven is among one of the heaviest among these passer remains and it will have around eight subspecies some of which we covered earlier with the common raven the northern the western things of that nature while they inhabit a great deal of habitats we might be asking just how many ravens are there in the world and it would be a fair assumption that if they are very common and many of S. here have seen a raven in some way or other that the total number of their population is high which of course it is the global estimates of the total number of species is around eight point seven million which is not very accurate but what we do know is that the population of these black birds has increased by over seven hundred times in the last four decades that is a startling statistic and would cause me to wonder and brings about a bit of skepticism on my side sometimes there are certain factors that caused me to scratch my head and think is that really the case a population being increased by over seven hundred times in about forty years sounds like a bit of a long shot but it might very well be true due to the changing sort of conditions that are happening all over the world this is something that requires a bit of further study we covered earlier the ravens habitat now let us cover geographically where the raven lives a raven has the ability to adapt from the hottest to the coldest place it is widely spread across the northern hemisphere as we learned earlier they are found in the temperate habitats of North America and Eurasia as well as the hot desert's of Africa they are also seen in Wales Scotland as well as the west of Ireland the raven seems to be much more Welsh traveled than I am but this is one of those uncommon episodes in terms of the animal being known or being seen in person by likely the majority of people listening there are many animals that we've covered such as the panda or the to appear I personally have never seen those animals but I have seen a raven as we go deeper into this forest into the lush vegetation let's look a little bit more specifically at the raven when we do see them they usually prefer to live in pairs as well as in groups they usually will travel with their mating partner sometimes they fly together in groups as well so we have had a good amount of animals on the show that we have covered that prefer mostly to live a solitary kind of existence but the raven is not one of them in fact I am not sure that we have covered many bird species that really prefer to be alone there certainly has been some but it seems to be a less common occurrence the raven is extremely smart this is one of the reasons I really was looking forward to doing this episode is because of the fact that they are very intelligent when it comes to animal intelligence these birds rate up there with chimpanzees and dolphins that is something that is extremely impressive because we do know a lot about the vast intelligence of the chimpanzee as well as the dolphins in relation to many other animals that we have covered in one logic test a raven had to reach a hanging piece of food by pulling up a bit of the string anchoring it with its talon and repeating until the food was in reach many ravens Scott to the food on the first try some within thirty seconds I have seen many video those of ravens doing these sorts of puzzles and let us not to just skim over this here and take this for granted so here we have a raven looking to reach a hanging piece of food it is figuring out the sort of cause and effect relationships and how to reach this piece of food we engage in logical process sees all the time whether we like it or not one example is that for those of you that drive a car when you see that the take on that empty and full sort of meter there is going to the left side you know that once that take is all the way to the left once your car has no gas anymore that it won't move and so an animal to participate in this sort of logical process be it even something that is quite simple at least to our minds it is something that we can greatly appreciate one other thing that is interesting that if a raven knows another raven is watching it hide its food it will pretend to put the food in one place while it is really hiding it in another see you see that the raven is a bit of a trickster since the other ravens are smart as well this only works sometimes some of these tricksters sort of things also happened in the wild ravens have pushed rocks on people to keep them from climbing to their nests they have played dead beside a beaver carcass to scare other ravens away from this particular feast and they even stolen Costco customers packaged meats right out of their carts so won't you know it even the ravens like Costco these are only some of the things that play into the ravens intelligence and it is what makes it's just such a cool animal in captivity ravens can learn to talk better than some parents they also mimic other noises like car engines toilets flushing and animal and bird calls ravens have even been known to imitate wolves or foxes to attract them to carcasses that the raven is not capable of breaking open when the wolf is done eating the raven gets the leftovers I can't help but assume that these are some of the reasons that Theresa wanted to learn about the raven so badly they are seriously cool ravens also love to play they have been observed in Alaska and Canada using snow covered roofs as slides in Maine they have been seen rolling down snowy hills they often play keep away with other animals like wolves orders and dogs ravens even make toys which is a very uncommon or you could even say rare animal behavior by using sticks pine cones golf balls or rocks to play with each other or even just by themselves and sometimes they will just taunt or mock other creatures C. mainly just for fun what I find particularly interesting about the raven is the fact that they are so widespread and so common and yet have some of the most uncommon behaviors in the animal kingdom you would think that perhaps an animal of these sorts of capacities and capabilities would be somewhere hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest but here we have ravens in the cities and farms the majority of us have seen them before and yet they are super cool ravens will lie in anthills and rolled around so the ants swarm onto them or he will chew the ends up and rubbed their guts on their feathers the scientific name for this particular behavior is known as an ting some song birds crows and jays do it as well the behavior however is not very well understood there have been some theories that have popped up about its purpose and the range of this theorized purpose will be from the acts acting as a sort of insecticide and fungicide for the bird or perhaps it is because the ants secretions will act sort of as a soothing agent on a molting birds skin and even some scientists have rummaged around their lab coats and come up with the idea that the whole performance is simply a mild addiction that they like to indulgent one thing seems clear ending feels great if you are a raven I want to stress that last portion that ending feels great but make sure you listen to the second part if your a raven I don't think it would be a good prescription to go and find a fire ant hill and roll around in it as a human being I don't think that we would find that so soothing and so why don't we leave that to the raven another very cool thing is that it turns out that ravens make according to researchers very sophisticated non vocal signals a study in Austria found that ravens will point with their beaks to indicate an object to another bird perhaps similarly to the way we do with our fingers they will also sometimes hold up an object to get another bird's attention this is the first time researchers have observed naturally occurring gestures in any animal other than in primates all of this gesturing all of this rolling around is going to have to be supplied with some form of food and so let us talk about what they eat the raven falls into the category of a scavenger so they are scavengers with a varied diet that will include fish meat seeds fruit carrion as well as just straight up garbage they will even trick animals out of their food as we have discussed earlier by a form of distraction or another form of deception so just like their habitats their eating habits or their eating choices seem to be quite varied even including garbage they do have few predators in the wild which will also be a contributing factor to their long lifespan in the wild it's about seventeen years that they will live I've biked in captivity they will live on average over double to about forty years of age this is extremely impressive many of the times on the show we will see that this is almost always the case that in animal will live longer in captivity debate aside as to the general quality of life but the length of life is certainly on average extended a great amount in captivity in comparison to the wild but here we have the raven living twenty three years more on average in captivity which I think is one of the largest discrepancies just proportionally that we've had on the show as we are walking around in the forest we ought to be careful for the ravens that roam around in teenage gangs when the young ravens reach adolescence they leave home and join gangs like every mother's worst nightmare these flocks of young birds live and eat together until they mate and pair off interestingly living among teenagers seems to be quite stressful for the raven scientists have found higher levels of stress hormones in teenage raven droppings then in the droppings of mated adults it is never easy being a raven teenage rebel they also remember birds that they like and will respond in a seemingly friendly way Hey to certain birds for at least three years after seeing them but to this will also swing in the other direction because they hold grudges so make sure that if you see a raven in your neighborhood you don't get on their bad side they hold grudges because they are birds and fly overhead they are capable of some physiological artillery so it is best to keep on their good side let us now go to the name of the raven what does the name mean what is its etymology where does it come from this is one of those words that etymologically it is very well documented and so we have many different places or languages from which the raven is going through its little transformations so first it is coming from a late Old English word raven echoes even earlier from that to a north Cumbrian or west Saxon words it goes farther to a proto Germanic word a Danish word a Dutch word so we can see that a few steps later from the first late Old English word raven from which we get raven to the Dutch word Rafe it is going through some transformations it goes even farther from that to the old high German word robin or German robber which means raven it then goes to its Greek counterparts which is the Greek word corax which means raven the main way we caught the name or the pronunciation of raven that we have one of the main transition points was to that proto Germanic word crowd binance and it came about as a result of something known as a pie root imitative so this is where we have a similar sound will produce this particular word soul Latin has Cree pair of corn makes Corvus corax from the Greek and so we have something of an imitative sort of transformative word to slowly bring us towards the word raven that we use today I am a big fan of history and of entomology and words are pretty fascinating to me and I hope that they are to you as well to resa thank you for a seriously awesome episode we are going to go a little bit deeper into the forest on the patriotic page to see some of the cultural implications or the cultural manifestations of the raven as well as other things for those of you that wish to request an animal has to reset did please you can write into the show by sending a message to relax with the animal facts on Instagram you can also send an email to relax with animal facts at G. mail dot com and lastly you can now send your animal request in via the relax with animal facts dot com website I hope all of you enjoyed this podcast episode as much as I did and I hope to see you on the next podcast episode with the next animal take care.