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research shows feathered friends are developing bigger brains and becoming more intelligent
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Research shows feathered friends are developing bigger brains and becoming more intelligent

The West Australian Perth Now Click to open navigation ‌‌ News Chevron Down Icon Breaking News Western Australia National World Technology Opinion Weather Sport Chevron Down Icon AFL Cricket Soccer Basketball Tennis NRL Rugby Motor Racing MMA Golf Netball Cycling Entertainment Chevron Down Icon Confidential Movies Best Short Film Television Music Reviews Books Competitions Business Chevron Down Icon Breaking News Economy Markets Property Commercial Property Workplace Matters Lifestyle Chevron Down Icon Food Personal Finance Health Parenting Fashion Travel Home & Garden Relationships Stars Real Estate HUH? Local News Chevron Down Icon North Central South Mandurah Competitions Find My Paper Digital Editions Shop Now Read your local paperNews to your inbox Camera IconThey are considered lacking in brainpower – despite their mastery of flight. But birds are developing bigger brains which is making them more intelligent, scientists say. Credit: Michal Ficel/Peter Krocka – stock.adobe.com Research shows feathered friends are developing bigger brains and becoming more intelligent Chris PollardDaily Mail April 2, 2024 8:12AM Comments TopicsScienceAnimals They are considered lacking in brainpower – despite their mastery of flight. But birds are developing bigger brains which is making them more intelligent, scientists say. An international team of researchers tracked the evolutionary history of birds from the earliest, in the time of the dinosaurs, to the most modern by compiling a genetic family tree. This gave them new insights into how the creatures have developed skills over millions of years. TheNightly Get in front of tomorrow’s news for FREE Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.READ NOW Professor Tamas Szekely, of the University of Bath, said: “The average body size of birds has declined, but their brains relative to their body mass has increased, indicating enhanced cognition. “Large brains may be linked to complex social behaviours, stunning variation in bird song and sophisticated use of tools. “In future, we want to look at how body size and brain size have evolved in relation to changes in their behaviour, life histories and ecology. “These may all relate to changes in their environment during the history of the earth.” While often considered stupid, birds are among the world’s most adaptable animals. After the mass extinction 66 million years ago that killed the dinosaurs and most other life on earth, new birds evolved to fill the empty niches. Professor Guojie Zhang, from Zhejiang University in China, says the team now wants to create a genetic database of every living bird species. “This will be essential for combating diseases like avian influenza, and will be a treasure trove for conserving birds worldwide,” he said. Shocking findBones of missing toddler discovered in French Alps Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Sussex believe chip-stealing seagulls should be seen as clever and charismatic not a seaside nuisance. Professor Paul Graham says the birds, forced into urban areas due to dwindling fish stocks at sea, have learned to recognise packaging as a potential source of food. “Gulls didn’t evolve to like chips,” he explained. ‘Over time they have had to learn to engage with humans in order to source food. “When we see behaviours we think of as mischievous or criminal, we’re seeing a really clever bird implementing very intelligent behaviour.” Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email Us Copy the Link Register and have your say. Register to comment Already have an account? Log in Telethon Community CinemasWA’s charity cinemas, raising money for kids in need. See what’s on now! 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