— Underdogs of the Animal World

Underdogs of the Animal World: Raven

Ravens have a pretty bad rep, but after this article, nevermore. Yes, I went there. No, I don’t regret it.

People have had some pretty odd beliefs about ravens in the past, and some of those beliefs are still hanging around today. For example, in Norse Mythology, Odin, father of the gods, had two ravens called Huginn and Muninn. They would act as his eyes and ears, so if people had stuff they didn’t want the Gods to know, (like their troubling Pop Tarts problem or inability to go a day without checking TMZ) they would hide whenever they saw a raven. The raven slanderers were also super into death. Did you know, for instance, that if a raven taps on your window, croaks, flies up your chimney, or does the Macarena in front of you, you’re going to die? Ok, maybe not the last one, but come ON people! Ravens are hardly Sansa Stark!

There might be such a bad buzz around ravens because they’re super freaking smart, like making-all-the-birds-look-bad-so-they-started-spreading-rumours-but-aren’t-too-bright-so-made-everything-about-death smart. Ravens are even one of only four types of animal to be able to demonstrate displacement, which is where they’re able to chat to fellow ravens about stuff they’ve seen in the past, e.g. a hamster eating a teeny weeny pizza on YouTube. We all know what a major skill that is, right? Oh and by the way, the other three-time travelling thinkers are bees, ants and us. Look at us, thinking stuff about stuff. I’m so proud!

Of course, the smarter an animal is, the less it feels like doing. I mean, I could get off the sofa and change the channel, but luckily there’s a remote, so I can happily let my leg muscles waste away, only to be replaced by pizza and Venti Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccinos, which will totally be waaay more useful in later life. Ravens haven’t gotten around to inventing their own form of Segway and spaghetti forks* just yet, but it’s only a matter of time. I’m pretty much predicting a Raven-related apocalypse here, which might not make you their biggest fans, but come on, how cool would it be to see a raven riding a Segway, eating spaghetti, whilst foretelling the doom of civilization? Just me? Ok then.

Ok, so I might kinda, possibly want one…

Ravens aren’t only pasta fans, they will literally eat ANYTHING, (although the fork only works on pasta) and they’re not dumb about getting their fill. When they spot some dead animal they like the look of, but can’t crack open, they’ll mimic the call of something with big teeth, like a coyote or a wolf, and the animal will turn up, discover the carcass, chow down until they’re stuffed and then abandon it, giving the raven a super sneaky in on the action. And even though ravens are into sharing with bigger, badder creatures, they’re not big fans of sharing with each other. In fact, Ravens will sometimes lie in wait, watching as another raven hides their food, only to pinch it when they’ve fluttered off. However, Ravens have grown wise to their own tricks, sometimes pretending to hide food in one place before actually stashing it in another, just in case someone dodgy’s watching.

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