πŸ“° Why are some birds smarter than others?

If you’ve ever seen a grackle steal your dog’s dry food or a starling peck at a garbage bag, you might think some birds have learned to take advantage of new feeding opportunities – a clear sign of their intelligence. Scientists have long wondered why some species of birds are more innovative than others, and whether these abilities come from bigger brains (which seems intuitively likely) or from a bigger number (The notion of number in linguistics is treated in the article “Number…) neurons in specific areas of the brain (The brain is the main organ of the central nervous system of animals. The brain processes…).

It turns out it’s a bit of both, according to a recent study by an international team that included members of theMcGill University (McGill University, located in Montreal, Quebec, is one of…) published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

More neurons in the right place may be linked to greater intelligence in birds

The researchers used a new technique to estimate the number of neurons in a specific part of the brain called the pallium in 111 bird species. The pallium in birds is the equivalent of the Cerebral cortex (The cerebral cortex (or cerebral bark) of prosencephalic origin,…) human, which is involved among other things in the memory (Generally speaking, memory is the storage of information. It is also remembering…)I’learning (Learning is the acquisition of know-how, i.e. the process…), reasoning and problem solving. When these estimates of the number of neurons in the pallium were combined with information on more than 4,000 food innovations, the team found that the species with the highest number of neurons in the pallium are also likely to be the more innovative.

A longer development time in the nest (The nest generally designates the structure built by the birds to contain…) is a key factor

“The time the chicks spend in the nest at as (Fur is a small Danish island in the Limfjord. Fur has about 900 inhabitants. . The island…) and as their brain develops could also play a crucial role in the evolution of intelligence,” says Louis Lefebvre, professor emeritus (In the field of higher education, emeritus is an honorary title granted to…) at theUniversity (A university is an institution of higher education whose objective is the…) McGill, which has past (The past is first of all a concept linked to time: it is made up of the whole…) more than 20 years collecting examples of food innovations.

“The young of the larger species of crows, ravens and parrots, known for their intelligence, spend more time in the nest, giving the brain more time to develop and accumulate pallial neurons.”

The results of the study help to reconcile the points of seen (Sight is the sense that allows to observe and analyze the environment through reception and…) previously conflicting views on the evolution and significance of brain size and show how a history perspective of life (Life is the name given πŸ™‚ helps to understand the evolution of cognition.

Publication:
β€œNeuron numbers link innovativeness with both absolute and relative brain size in birds” by Sol D., Olkowicz, S., Sayol, F. et al in Nature Ecology and Evolution

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