Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 25, 2012

City Birds Have Big Brains

How having a large brain increases a bird’s chance of urban survival

Swedish researchers did a study to test the relationship between brain size of birds and ability to adapt and survive in urban environments.  The ability of 82 Species of passerine or perching birds to survive in 12 European cities were studied.  The researchers found that the larger brain was in relationship to body sized the better the more likely the bird was able to survive in cities.  The one exception was  pigeons, which are small brained.  Researchers explained that this exception was most likely due to cities being close to pigeons native habitat. To learn more read the study in Biology LettersBrains and the city: big-brained passerine birds succeed in urban environments and the news article in the NY TimesTo Survive in Big Cities, Birds Need Big Brains – NYTimes.com.

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