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American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Corvus
Linnaeus, 1758

Crows form the genus Corvus in the family Corvidae. They are medium to large sized birds, carnivores and scavengers.

The genus includes the crow (Carrion Crow or Hooded Crow), the Rook, Jay, Jackdaw, the Magpie and the large Common Raven. The genus has 40 or so members on all temperate continents except for South America, and some islands.

The Corvus makes up a third of the species in the Corvidae. Crows appear to have evolved in Asia from corvid stock which had evolved in Australia. The collective name for a group of crows is a flock or, more poetically, a murder.[1]

Some crow species not only use tools but also make tools.[2] Crows are now thought to be among the world's most intelligent animals,[3] with brain size (adjusted for body size) as large as some apes. The Jackdaw and the European Magpie have been found to have a nidopallium[4] about the same relative size as the equivalent neocortex in chimpanzees, and significantly larger than is found in the gibbon.[5]


  1. "Murder of Crows, etc.". Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  2. Winkler, Robert (August 8, 2002). "Crow makes wire hook to get food". National Geographic. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  3. "A Murder of Crows". Nature. PBS video. 2010-10-24. Retrieved 6 February 2011. "New research indicates that crows are among the brightest animals in the world."
  4. nidopallium: the region of the avian brain that is used mostly for executive functions and other higher cognitive tasks.
  5. Rogers, Lesley J.; Kaplan, Gisela T. (2004). Comparative vertebrate cognition: are primates superior to non-primates?. New York, New York: Springer. p. 9. ISBN 0-306-47727-0 .