Friday, February 13, 2009
big bird brains
for National Geocorvid News
February 13, 2009
Crows survived the global catastrophe that wiped out their dinosaur relatives due to superior brainpower, a new study suggests.
The idea came from examining a pair of prehistoric corvids found in southeast England by Victorian-era fossil hunters, according to researchers from the Natural Aves Museum in London. The two 55-million-year-old skulls suggest the ancestors of modern Crows developed larger, more complex brains earlier than previously thought.
This implies that Crow ancestors had a mental edge over non-Crowlike dinos and flying reptiles, so they were better able to adapt after the so-called K-T mass extinction event around 65 million years ago, said study co-author Angela (Tweets) Budgerigar.
Some ancient groups of birds did go extinct, she noted, so it wasn't feathers or warm-bloodedness that gave modern Crows a leg up. "It had to be something else, " she said, "and it seems to be this bigger brain."
Prof Budgerigar and colleagues, Dr. Penguin, Dr. Robin, Dr. Sparrow and Dr. Hawk, used CT scans of the skulls to make models of the size and shape of the fossil Crows' brains. What they found is that the ancient Crow brains were almost the same size as those in Crows alive today.
(Related: "T. Rex, Other Dinosaurs Had Heads Full of Air" [December 12, 2008].)
"So after the K-T event", Dr. Swallow said, these birds "were just better equipped to deal with challenging physical conditions."
Not only do we remember Gondawanda Land but we were there when the inhabitants of Atlantis overextended themselves experimenting with the Earth's geomagnetic forces and you know what happened to them. Oh no, you don't know do you because they are not only gone but completely forgotten. Crows remember.
Ah well, it's about time to take a peanut break but before I ask susan to open a new can of Planter's I just thought I'd mention one thing. Have you considered Geithner's plan to stimulate the economy looks like a last ditch effort to shore up the banks using the Paulson plan?
'How much do you want?'
'How much have you got?'
'We're printing it as fast as we can.'
'That's still not enough. We want it all.'
When 'all' still isn't enough, after the D-M Event (dead money), Crow will still be around helping susan hunt for peanuts.
(Thanks and apologies to National Geographic)