Bird Brain Thursday


Corvids, the family of birds that includes crows and ravens, give a whole new meaning to the term “bird brain.”

They show the same level of self-regulation when faced with potential rewards as chimps do, according to a study published last week in the journal Royal Society Open Science — suggesting that these birds may be just as clever as chimps, despite having smaller brains.

Scientists have long known that brain size alone is not a measure of intelligence, and the international team of researchers behind this new study argues that intelligence may be related to the brain’s structure and how many neurons it has.

“Absolute brain size is not the whole story,” Can Kabadayi, a doctoral student in cognitive science at Lund University in Sweden and lead author of the study, says in a video (above) that the university released on Tuesday.

The researchers conducted the common “cylinder test” — which has been used previously to test the intelligence of various primate species — with five common ravens, 10 Eurasian jackdaws and 10 New Caledonian crows.

The experiment involved placing food in a clear tube and measuring birds’ intelligence by looking at whether they gave in to the impulse to retrieve it as soon as they saw it or reached around the side of the tube to access the treat.



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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10 Responses to Bird Brain Thursday

  1. David B. Benson says:

    Den — It might be air quality in your home. Try opening a window at each end and sucking out the inside air.


  2. º¿carol says:

    I didn’t know you were sick again, Den. 😦 Hope it hurries up and passes.


  3. º¿carol says:

    One of the Novas I watched was about animal brains, especially the crows. I love having a DVR, now I can catch all the documentaries I want. I saw a crow figure out how to get to a bit of food using a tool.


  4. º¿carol says:

    Got the tiny carburetor in the mail yesterday and our friend Jeff came over today after work and switched the new one for the bad on on my little Mantis tiller. I’m in business now! Except can’t use it today, rainy and wet.

    The left front tire on my tractor was really low last week so I pumped it up and mowed. Looked at it in the garage today, it was flat. We had some Green Slime left and Jeff put it in my tire and blew it back up. Hope that does the trick. I REALLY needed to mow yesterday but didn’t feel like it, can’t today because of weather, will most certainly have to mow tomorrow or Saturday. Grass grows like a mother at this time of year. It’s so lush and green now.

    A robin started a nest on my dragon skull on the garage patio again. It wasn’t there yesterday, must have started this morning. I also noticed nesting materials hanging out from three of the license plates I have perched along the top of the two garage doors. The place is going to be like a condo, or an apartment building.


  5. David B. Benson says:

    @ the Foundry, which replaces Swilly’s with a rather similar menu. I stick walked for 26 minutes to city hall and then just walked by 2 blocks to Waddell & Reed for wine and cheese for a couple of hours, meeting new people.

    But now for dinner, where at least one of the waitresses remembers me.


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