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Bird Protected: Parrots and crows have & # 39; really outstanding & # 39; brain size, while pigeons and emusions have the same brain-to-body ratio as dinosaurs 66 million years ago

  • Birds and dinosaurs had similar brains about 66 million years ago
  • After the mass extinction of dinosaurs, birds develop relatively larger brains
  • The body size of some birds became smaller, but brains remained about the same size
  • This is why parrots and crows have a large brain compared to their body
  • But girls and emusions have not changed much since the death of dinosaurs and have the same ratio of body to brain

A bird protector should be a compliment and not an insult to school districts, a new study has revealed.

But only if the person who throws them insults refers to a parrot or a crow, to & # 39; the size of their brain & # 39; really exceptional & # 39; is compared to their body.

In contrast, pigeons and emuses have the same relationship between brain and body as dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

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A team of scientists studied the brain size of dinosaurs, ancient birds and modern avian species to find out how brain capacity has changed over millions of years. She discovered that when dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago, birds capitalized on their absence

A team of scientists studied the brain size of dinosaurs, ancient birds, and modern avian species to find out how brain capacity has changed over millions of years.

She discovered that when a meteor triggered the distance of dinosaurs 66 million years ago, birds capitalized by the absence of & # 39; e big lizards.

They adapted, diversified, and evolved to pursue the ecological niches.

In the process of doing this, some birds developed brains that are very large compared to their bodies, and compared to the now extinct dinosaurs.

During this rapid radiation to occupy ecological roles that were previously fulfilled by dinosaurs, the body size of some birds shrank, but their brains remained largely the same size.

This increases the ratio of brain to body size and can lead to increased intelligence.

A team of 37 international researchers made the discovery after tracing & # 39; the history of brain development of terrestrial animals for millions of years.

They modeled brains based on the skull shape of hundreds of birds and dinosaurs and analyzed how the size of the organ was compared to the body size of the animal.

Results showed that birds such as emus and pigeons had the same large brains as you would expect for a theropod dinosaur, but corvids (crows, ravens) and parrots were at the other end of the scale.

The authors say that the findings show very high rates of brain development, which may not have helped these birds to develop larger brains.

& # 39; One of & # 39; Big surprises were that selection for small body size appears to be a major factor in & # 39; evolution of birds with large brains, & # 39; says Dr. Daniel Ksepka, Curator of Science at the Bruce Museum and lead author of the study.

& # 39; Many successful bird families have proportionally developed large brains by shrinking to smaller body sizes, while their brains size has remained close to those of their larger ancestors. & # 39;

Parrots and crows, such as raven and sibling, can use tools, language and even remember human faces.

Top left shows birds that have not had large brains to body size ratios since the distance of dinosaurs (owls, pigeons, emuses and flamingos). At the top right shows the kiwi & # 39; s ratio of cranes. Bottom left shows birds that evolved to have a larger brain (penguins), but right below shows birds that have the largest brains compared to their bodies. it includes parrots, toucans and crows

Top left shows birds that have not had large brains to body size ratios since the distance of dinosaurs (owls, pigeons, emuses and flamingos). At the top right shows the kiwi & # 39; s ratio of cranes. Bottom left shows birds that evolved to have a larger brain (penguins), but right below shows birds that have the largest brains compared to their bodies. it includes parrots, toucans and crows

Pictured, a graph that shows the relative brain size over time in non-avian theropods and birds. Colored lines represent the rapid diversification after the extinction of dinosaurs (dotted line)

Pictured, a graph that shows the relative brain size over time in non-avian theropods and birds. Colored lines represent the rapid diversification after the extinction of dinosaurs (dotted line)

Pictured, a graph that shows the relative brain size of birds today. Red shows the bird with the largest brain and green shows the ones with the smallest brain

Pictured, a graph that shows the relative brain size of birds today. Red shows the bird with the largest brain and green shows the ones with the smallest brain

Co-author Dr Amy Balanoff of & # 39; e John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, said: & # 39; There is no clear line between the brains of advanced dinosaurs and primitive birds.

& # 39; Birds such as emus and pigeons have the same brain size as you would expect for a theropod dinosaur of the same body size, and in fact, some species such as moa have smaller than expected brains. & # 39;

Co-author Dr Adam Smith of the Campbell Geology Museum at Clemson University in South Carolina said: & # 39; Several groups of birds show above average rates of evolution of brain and body size.

& # 39; But crows are really from & # 39; e charts – they outpaced all other birds. Our results suggest that calling someone & # 39; bird flight & # 39; is actually a very compliment. & # 39;

The study is published in the journal Current Biology.

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