Why Australian Birds Are So Smart

Gisela Kaplan from the Centre for Neuroscience and Animal Behaviour at the University of New England talks about how Australian birds are so smart and why.

Gisela Kaplan from the Centre for Neuroscience and Animal Behaviour at the University of New England talks about how Australian birds are so smart and why.

galah, rose-breasted cockatoo
Australian birds, like this galah/rose-breasted cockatoo, are some of the oldest and longest-lived parrots.

We all know how smart birds can be (especially parrots!) But not everyone does, and people like Professor Gisela Kaplan from the Centre for Neuroscience and Animal Behaviour at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia, are out to show the world how smart birds are.

In a recent article to ABC in Australia, she said that birds have a lot to teach us about how to live life. After years of studying birds, including her own rose-breasted cockatoo (a bird who? 75 years old!) she says, “we?e grossly underestimated the intelligence of animals.?lt;/span>

She mentions parrots and their language and how their ability to mimicry helps them to survive in the wild. “Some of them are past masters in deceptive behavior, they give alarm calls of other species and the other species fly away and then they have the food source to themselves,” she told ABC AU.

She credits the reason birds are so smart is because they come from Australia, and have a 90-million-year-old history. In Australia, conditions were so harsh due to ever-changing weather and environment, birds had to learn how to best survive it, and that leads to having “to be very resourceful and [having] to have a very good memory.?

She says that Australian birds are some smartest birds in the world. They also live much longer than birds from other parts of the world. Is it because of how smart they are? Or is because they live so long they get so talented? Kaplan thinks it? a bit of both.

Read the whole article here.

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