Are some species of birds just as smart as apes?
It seems like a stretch since apes have significantly larger brains than birds, but there’s a long-standing fact that the size of the brain has less to do with your intelligence than the number of wrinkles.
According to a new study published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, the cognitive function of some species of birds, such as parrots and corvids is actually a lot more complex than originally thought.
Birds lack the cerebral cortex that most mammals have for critical thinking, but a similar system exists in a bird’s brain that performs the same or similar tasks using the brain’s pallium.
“Cognition in corvids and parrots reaches the same level of excellence and diversity as in apes,” the study explains. “Among others, bird cognition encompasses abilities such as delay of gratification, mental time travel, reasoning, metacognition, mirror self-recognition, theory of mind, and third-party intervention.”
The research suggests that over time, birds have evolved to gain the mental abilities they’ve needed in order to survive in the wild using the structures they already have in their heads, with or without the same structures that many mammals have in their brains. They’ve essentially evolved into their own way of doing what they have to do independent of other species.
Despite having a different methodology to getting things done, a bird’s brain can still function much like that of an ape’s brain, and as a result, birds are incredibly smart creatures and can be ranked high in the intelligence scale.
Source: Science Daily