It is accepted by popular culture that having a small brain equates to being stupid, and that’s why we say that someone’s a bird brain when they’re really stupid, because birds are known to have tiny brains. And we know for a fact that we have to be smart so that we can survive in this dog-eat-dog world.
But the statement that having small brains equates to being stupid is not true all the time; at least when it comes to pigeons.
Some small-brained birds, like the ubiquitous pigeons, keep their lineage going by breeding more, European researchers have discovered.
The finding, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, solves the mystery of conflicting evidence for the popular theory that birds need big brains to give them greater behavioural flexibility in coping with cities.
“We thought that maybe there was no single way to be an urban dweller,” says lead author Ferran Sayol, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, “and that’s what we found.”
Results confirmed that brain size played a role in urban success stories, but it depended on their reproductive strategy.
(Image Credit: Couleur/ Pixabay)