In a lecture on the "Meaning Crisis", John Vervaeke, an assistant professor of cognitive science at the University of Toronto, and a colleague of Jordan B. Peterson, states:

Caledonian crows will tumble down roofs in order to make themselves dizzy for no other purpose than to alter their state of consciousness.

I believe vertigo does affect animals other than humans, including birds, which makes me wonder why any animal would intentionally induce such an awful feeling, and why crows specifically, as opposed to any other animal that could easily do this (think dog chasing their tail for example) if they actually enjoyed the experience.

Google did not yield any matches resembling this claim. Is this claim supported by evidence?

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    The crows do act like that (there's plenty of videos that show this). I always assumed it's just fun for them. Most intelligent animals play games in one way or another. I'd be interested in seeing exactly which studies they have done to say that they instead do this because it makes them feel dizzy... do we really know what they feel in that circumstance? I'm skeptical about that... Apr 17, 2019 at 7:16
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    Not Caledonian, but another anecdote of a crow making itself dizzy: theviewfromadrawbridge.com/2018/04/23/uni-the-crow
    – Henry
    Apr 17, 2019 at 7:48
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    Several kids - specially small ones - like to get dizzy just for the fun of it. I wouldn't put above some animals doing it for no other reason than to have some fun, too.
    – T. Sar
    Apr 17, 2019 at 11:47
  • Thanks all for the great comments. Kids and many animals certainly like to spin. But I remember from my days on the carousel that when I got dizzy is when I wanted off. Having (unintentionally) made a cat dizzy once by spinning it on my office chair, I got the distinct impression (via a loud pained yowl) that it felt the same. Apr 17, 2019 at 12:28
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    @ArnonWeinberg Your mileage may vary from individual to individual. Some people really enjoy getting dizzy in controlled environments, others don't like it at all. I know that I, personally, love my spinning office chair and the fun it gives me when I have to wait a couple minutes while building a huge project. (don't judge me.)
    – T. Sar
    Apr 17, 2019 at 14:35


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