My Little Dinosaur

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This six week old rooster has taken to roosting on top of a screen door in the chicken coop. He sure has that dinosaur look with his big eyes, strong beak, claws, and scrawny feathers. Maybe one day he’ll be a proud father.

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According to Vanderbilt University neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-ouzel, certain bird brains are much more densely packed with neurons than mammal brains. For example, a walnut sized macaw brain has more neurons in its forebrain than a macaque monkey with a much larger, lemon sized brain. Which may mean that ounce per ounce, birds are much smarter than mammals.

However this high density of neurons is true of songbirds and parrots, not of all birds. Emu, pigeons, and junglefowl, the ancestors of chickens, don’t have a high density of neurons in their forebrains.


You can read the study here: Birds have primate-like numbers of neurons in the forebrain

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