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David Iliff / Wikipedia

Scientists have believed for some time that behaviors associated with the ability to plan ahead were unique to humans and other great ape species. But new research indicates ravens can also plan ahead somewhat, and give up an immediate reward for something even greater in the future.

What it means: Ravens and great apes haven't shared a common ancestor for 300 million years. If the science holds up in follow on studies, then it means this common ability to plan ahead appeared on two separate evolutionary paths – one for birds and one for great apes and then humans.

What they did: Researchers presented ravens with a variety of options to choose between an immediate reward, or something that they could use later for even greater rewards. The most conclusive test showed that the birds would wait for a tool to open all boxes with rewards inside, rather than choose to open just one box with an immediate reward inside. In fact, ravens scored higher than great apes in these tests of planning for bartering.

Go deeper

Georgia governor declines Trump's request to help overturn election result

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp pushed back on Saturday after President Trump pressed him to help overturn the state's election results.

Driving the news: Trump asked the Republican governor over the phone Saturday to call a special legislative session aimed at overturning the presidential election results in Georgia, per the Washington Post. Kemp refused.

Philanthropy Deep Dive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A look at how philanthropy is evolving (and why Dolly Parton deserves a Medal of Freedom).