The first example of the use of tools by seabirds has been documented in friars, also called puffins, who use sticks to scratch themselves.
In recent decades, scientists have found many examples of animals using tools. For example, in October last year, researchers first observed Visayas boars using sticks to dig and build nests.
Although several birds do, this behavior had not yet been observed in seabirds. So far. According to the agency Europa Press, a friar, also called a puffin, was seen using a stick to scratch himself.
The three researchers at Oxford University and the Southern Iceland Nature Research Center report this finding in the study. published, December 2019, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Apart from representing the first known use of a tool by a seabird, it is also the first observation of a bird using a scratching tool.
Researchers note that the bird lived on the island of Grimsey in Iceland, where birds suffer from parasites in their plumage. In addition, the team points out that last year it was also known for tick infestations.
Despite this situation, scientists point out that they witnessed this behavior in two places at a great distance, which may show that the use of tools among the friars is common.