Short Communication

Journal of Ethology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 385-388

First online:

Cooperative hunting in Brown-Necked Raven (Corvus rufficollis) on Egyptian Mastigure (Uromastyx aegyptius)

  • Reuven YosefAffiliated withInternational Birding and Research Centre in Eilat Email author 
  • , Nufar YosefAffiliated withDepartment of Education, Tel Aviv University

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We describe cooperative hunting by Brown-necked Raven (Corvus ruficollis) on Egyptian Mastigure (Uromastyx aegyptius) in the Arava Valley, Israel. At first, in all nine observed hunts, the ravens were observed to be in the vicinity and were seen simultaneously. The Mastigure was almost always at a distance from the burrow entrance and either foraging on the bushes or lying flattened on a bush sunning itself. The attack started when a circling pair of ravens flew in at high speed and landed on the entrance of the burrow, cutting off the escape route of the lizard. Following this maneuver, the other ravens attacked the lizard. The ravens pecked randomly at the most exposed part of the lizard, eventually causing its death. Only when the lizard was evidently dead did the two individuals that blocked the escape route join in the feeding ravens.


Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis Egyptian Mastigure Uromastyx aegyptius Theory of mind Cooperative hunting