The Eggheads

Have Bird Brains Scrambled Darwin's Tree of Life?

In Salvo 21, we looked at ongoing efforts to demonstrate a simple continuum between the intelligence of humans and that of primate apes. Never mind that the latter, after all this time, are still screeching in the trees and show no signs of changing their lifestyle. In any event, it turns out that grey parrots1 and ravens2 can solve puzzles that we had assumed only such primates could manage. Which raises the question, does that make these birds closer to humans than other birds are? Not genetically, surely.

But if some birds, when tested, prove to be as smart as primates, we may need to rethink what intelligence is and how it is acquired.


is a Canadian journalist, author, and blogger. She blogs at Blazing Cat Fur, Evolution News & Views, MercatorNet, Salvo, and Uncommon Descent.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #22, Fall 2012 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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