Bird brains? No, parrots are just as bright as apes! Birds found to have more brain cells despite organ being much smaller

For years birds were accused of being feather brained. But now scientists have found they are not only as clever as apes, but have more brain cells despite much tinier brains.Crows and parrots have shown remarkable skills such as being able to use tools, recognise themselves in a mirror, and in the case of parrots, learn to speak words.

The mystery of how they manage these intellectual feats with such small brains has been puzzling scientists for years, But researchers have now discovered that birds have far more brain cells packed into their tiny skulls than apes, monkeys and other mamals whose brains weigh many times more

The scientists from Charles University in Prague measured the numbers of brain cells in 32 different bird species, including crows, parrots, emus and owls.And they found the average bird's brain had twice as many brain cells per gram as the average mammal.

Using a device called an Isotropic Fractionator, which is able to count neurons, the researchers counted the brain cells of different birds – and found that birds were the winners in the brain department.

For example, a tiny goldcrest, the researchers found, despite weighing nine times less than a mouse, has 2.3 times more brain cells.

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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