The researchers publish their finding in a paper (P) on PNAS, stating that this is a "previously unknown tool-use behavior for wild birds, so far only documented in the wild in primates and elephants" (P).
But this dumb blog thinks that the researchers got it wrong, and that the true reason why those seabirds evolved the tool use skill, more specifically the ability to use wooden sticks, isn't to scratch their bodies, but it is indeed the one showed in the following cartoon...
|The true reason why seabirds evolved the ability to use tools (by @sciencemug)|
[Atlantic Puffins pic, by Thomas O'Neil, is under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license (source: Wikimedia Commons); adapted by @sciencemug]
Fayet, A.L., Hansen, E.S., and Biro, D. (2020). Evidence of tool use in a seabird. PNAS 117, 1277–1279.
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