Thursday, October 01, 2020

Bird brains?

Crows, parrots and ravens are the Einsteins of the avian world and for good reason as their brains are similar to ours, a notion not considered possible until now.

Why is this so?

Stacho and his colleagues think the findings also represent a glimpse into ancient animal brain evolution. The last common ancestor of birds and mammals was a reptile that roamed the earth around 320 million years ago. And its brain, the team believes, was probably a precursor to that of the two lineages that diverged through evolution. “Nobody knows how exactly the brain of the last common ancestor looked like,” Stacho says. “Most likely, it wasn’t like the neocortex or the DVR. It was probably something in between that, in mammals, developed to a six-layered neocortex and, in birds, to the wulst and DVR.”

Lastly ...

This latest research also undercuts primate exceptionalism. “I hope that more people will be tempted to drop the notion that there is something very unique and exclusive about the human brain,” Herculano-Houzel says.

It's about time don't you think?

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

"'Tis some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door—

            Only this and nothing more."

Edgar Allan Poe

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