Inspired by this news article about crows and technology evolution.

What is the earliest work of sci-fi that features crows that have evolved to near or beyond human levels of technology/advanced civilization? I'm happy to include ravens or other corvids.

I looked at the trope page on uplifted animals. However that only includes animals that have been altered by humans (such as Eclipse Phase). I'm looking for stories that look at crows that have evolved.

  • 2
    "Are there any XYZ" are off-topic as they are too broad. You either have to narrow down your search to a question with an objective answer (First, Most sales, etc...) or ask in chat.
    – Edlothiad
    Jan 23, 2018 at 12:03
  • There are intelligent ravens in American Gods but they aren't technically advanced.
    – Chenmunka
    Jan 23, 2018 at 12:04
  • FIGHT MILK Jan 24, 2018 at 10:33
  • 4
    How can you get more specific than "intelligent, but not uplifted corvids in a work of science fiction" ? I do not understand why this would be "to broad". Jan 24, 2018 at 11:24
  • 1
    @Valorum???... I am the author, and it was my edit.
    – Moogle
    Jan 25, 2018 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


In Raymond Z. Gallun's classic novelette "Seeds of the Dusk" (first published in Astounding Science-Fiction, June 1938, available at the Internet Archive), crows have evolved near-human intelligence, but don't have technology. Kaw the crow is one of the main characters in this far-future alien invasion story:

Kaw, the Crow, recognized in this thing that it was alien — not of Earth — and that, to him, spelled danger to himself and all his kind.

[. . . .]

Kaw felt a twinge of dread. Evolution, working through a process of natural selection — and, in these times of hardship and pitiless competition, putting a premium on intelligence — had given to his kind a brain power far transcending that of his ancestors. He could observe, and could interpret his observations with the same practical comprehension which a primitive human being might display. But, like those primitives, he had developed, too, a capacity to feel superstitious awe.

[. . . .]

They chuckled and chattered and cawed, like the crows of dead eras. But these sounds, echoing eerily beneath cloistered arches, dim and abhorrent in the advancing gloom of night, differed from that antique yammering. It constituted real, intelligent conversation.

Kaw, perched high on a fancifully wrought railing of bronze, green with the patina of age, urged his companions with loud cries, and with soft, pleading notes. In his own way, he had some of the qualities of a master orator. But. as all through an afternoon of similar arguing, he was getting nowhere. His tribe was afraid. And so it was becoming more and more apparent that he must undertake his mission alone. Even Teka, his mate, would not accompany him.


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