Animal Cognition

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 405–416

Ontogeny of object permanence in a non-storing corvid species, the jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

  • Dorottya Júlia Ujfalussy
  • Ádám Miklósi
  • Thomas Bugnyar
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10071-012-0581-z

Cite this article as:
Ujfalussy, D.J., Miklósi, Á. & Bugnyar, T. Anim Cogn (2013) 16: 405. doi:10.1007/s10071-012-0581-z


The aim of the present study was to investigate the ontogeny of object permanence in a non-caching corvid species, the jackdaw (Corvus monedula). Jackdaws are often presented as typical examples of non-storing corvids, as they cache either very little or not at all. We used Uzgiris and Hunt’s Scale 1 tasks to determine the age at which the certain stages set in and the final stage of this capacity that is reached. Our results show that the lack of food-storing behaviour is not associated with inferior object permanence abilities in the jackdaw, as our subjects (N = 19) have reached stage 5 competence (to follow successive visible displacements) at the average age of 61 days post-hatch and showed some evidence of stage 6 competence (to follow advanced invisible displacements) at 81 days post-hatch and thereafter. As we appreciate that object permanence abilities have a very wide ecological significance, our positive results are probably the consequence of other, more fundamental ecological pressures, such as nest-hole reproduction or prey–predator interactions.


Object permanenceJackdawOntogenyNon-storingCorvids

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorottya Júlia Ujfalussy
    • 3
  • Ádám Miklósi
    • 3
  • Thomas Bugnyar
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Konrad Lorenz Research StationGrünauAustria
  2. 2.Department of Cognitive BiologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Ethology, Institute of BiologyEötvös Loránd University of Sciences (ELTE)BudapestHungary