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Re: Dromeosaurid behavior........possibly relevant bird studies



The Pepperberg work on African Greys is referenced at:
http://eebweb.arizona.edu/STAFF/pep.htm
The level of intelligence in a brain smaller than a peanut is
astounding.

The McGowan work on crow families is at:
http://cuvc.bio.cornell.edu/mcgowan/index.html
Although his work is not in bird intelligence, it does
say a lot about cooperative behavior in a small-brained
species. Other studies have shown problem-solving
intelligence in crows close to monkey level.

You are absolutely right that the level of encephalization
in present day crows and parrots was never reached by
known dinosaurs, if we measure encephalization by
a brain/body mass ratio. However, the association of
intelligence with encephalization is statistical. It is still
problematic as to why brain/body ratios should correlate
with intelligence when there is so little brain to start with
in modern birds. The common denominator in birds with
the highest IQs is social behavior - life in family-organized
flocks and groups and cooperation for common goals.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

> At 10:10 AM 4/29/99 -0400, you wrote:
>
> >Social interaction appears to be more important than brain mass
> >in driving intelligence.
>
> Ummm... Based on...?  It's an interesting hypothesis, and might well be
> true, but I don't know that this has been established.  (It might: I don't
> know that literature).
>
>