From: Reuters
Published September 16, 2005 12:00 AM

Bigger Brained Birds Do Better, Study Says

LONDON — Brain size matters if you are a bird, according to a new study published on Wednesday.


Birds with bigger brains adapted better to the environment and therefore did better, according to scientists from The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Liverpool University and Birmingham University.


The study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, found that populations of birds like grey partridges and corn buntings -- all with relatively small brains relative to their size -- had dropped sharply.


At the same time those with relatively larger brain sizes like blue tits and magpies had fared far better.


"Large brains may help birds solve problems and adapt their behaviour as their environments change," said lead author and former RSPB scientist Suzanne Shultz from Liverpool University.


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"But birds with small brains for their size seem to be declining because they are stuck in their ways," she added.


Not only is the bird environment changing due to human activities like farming, but scientists say the whole world's climate is warming due to the release of so-called greenhouse gases from power stations and car exhausts.


Source: Reuters


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