Why Crows Have Big Brains. Family life can be conplicated - all members need to understand exactly what's going on and to work together for the family to function well. Maybe that's why crows are so smart. Crows live in extended families composed of juveniles, young from from previous years, and one pair of breeding adults. Their exceptional memories, problem-solving skills and a repertoire of 20 calls each given for a specific purpose, is likely the result of family life.