Pigeons not such bird brains after all


THEY might not seem the brightest creatures on the planet, but it seems pigeons are far more intelligent than previously thought.

The birds, more noted for ungainly flapping than complex problem solving, can apparently understand both space and time, which leads researchers to conclude their test subjects are capable of high-level decision making.

In a series of experiments, it was discovered pigeons use the same area of ​​their brain as humans to judge abstract concepts.

The finding adds to raise recognition in the scientific community that lower-order animal species – such as birds, reptiles, and fish – are they brighter than they would have been given credit.

Professor Edward Wbaderman, of the University of Iowa in the United States , said: 'The cognitive prowess of birds is considered to be closer to that of both human and non-human primates.'

Prof Wbaderman – who has studied intelligence in pigeons, crows, baboons, and o ther animals for more than two decades "Those avian nervous systems are capable of far greater achievements than the pejorative term 'bird brain' would suggest. '

He says humans are able to perceive space and time, even without the aid of inventions such as a watch or a ruler

The findings were published online by the journal Current Biology.

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