Big brains or big guts: Choose one

Big brains can help an animal mount quick, flexible behavioral responses to frequent or unexpected environmental changes. But some birds just don't need 'em.

The brains of birds synchronize when they sing duets

When a male or female white-browed sparrow-weaver begins its song, its partner joins in at a certain time. They duet with each other by singing in turn and precisely in tune. A team led by researchers from the Max Planck ...

A deeper look inside the sleeping bird brain

Birds have good memories, but in contrast to mammals, little is known about how they consolidate memories during sleep. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Utrecht University recorded waves of slow ...

Giant flightless birds were nocturnal and possibly blind

If you encountered an elephant bird today, it would be hard to miss. Measuring in at over 10 feet tall, the extinct avian is the largest bird known to science. However, while you looked up in awe, it's likely that the big ...

Study confirms that island birds have bigger brains

A team of researchers from Sweden, Canada and Spain has found evidence suggesting that birds that live on islands tend to have bigger brains than their mainland cousins. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, ...

Neuroscientists uncover secret to intelligence in parrots

University of Alberta neuroscientists have identified the neural circuit that may underlie intelligence in birds, according to a new study. The discovery is an example of convergent evolution between the brains of birds and ...

Birds and primates share brain cell types linked to intelligence

Neuronal cell types in the brains of birds linked to goal-directed behaviors and cognition are similar to cells in the mammalian neocortex, the large, layered structure on the outer surface of the brain where most higher-order ...

Pigeons better at multitasking than humans: study

Pigeons are capable of switching between two tasks as quickly as humans – and even more quickly in certain situations. These are the findings of biopsychologists who had performed the same behavioural experiments to test ...

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