Bird Brain

An Exploration of Avian Intelligence

Author: Nathan Emery

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691165173

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 1460

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Birds have not been known for their high IQs, which is why a person of questionable intelligence is sometimes called a "birdbrain." Yet in the past two decades, the study of avian intelligence has witnessed dramatic advances. From a time when birds were seen as simple instinct machines responding only to stimuli in their external worlds, we now know that some birds have complex internal worlds as well. This beautifully illustrated book provides an engaging exploration of the avian mind, revealing how science is exploding one of the most widespread myths about our feathered friends—and changing the way we think about intelligence in other animals as well. Bird Brain looks at the structures and functions of the avian brain, and describes the extraordinary behaviors that different types of avian intelligence give rise to. It offers insights into crows, jays, magpies, and other corvids—the “masterminds” of the avian world—as well as parrots and some less-studied species from around the world. This lively and accessible book shows how birds have sophisticated brains with abilities previously thought to be uniquely human, such as mental time travel, self-recognition, empathy, problem solving, imagination, and insight. Written by a leading expert and featuring a foreword by Frans de Waal, renowned for his work on animal intelligence, Bird Brain shines critical new light on the mental lives of birds.

Thinking Like a Parrot

Perspectives from the Wild

Author: Alan Bond,Judy Diamond

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 022624878X

Category: Nature

Page: 296

View: 6520

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People form enduring emotional bonds with other animal species, such as dogs, cats, and horses. For the most part, these are domesticated animals, with one notable exception: many people form close and supportive relationships with parrots, even though these amusing and curious birds remain thoroughly wild creatures. What enables this unique group of animals to form social bonds with people, and what does this mean for their survival? In Thinking like a Parrot, Alan B. Bond and Judy Diamond look beyond much of the standard work on captive parrots to the mischievous, inquisitive, and astonishingly vocal parrots of the wild. Focusing on the psychology and ecology of wild parrots, Bond and Diamond document their distinctive social behavior, sophisticated cognition, and extraordinary vocal abilities. Also included are short vignettes--field notes on the natural history and behavior of both rare and widely distributed species, from the neotropical crimson-fronted parakeet to New Zealand's flightless, ground-dwelling kākāpō. This composite approach makes clear that the behavior of captive parrots is grounded in the birds' wild ecology and evolution, revealing that parrots' ability to bond with people is an evolutionary accident, a by-product of the intense sociality and flexible behavior that characterize their lives. Despite their adaptability and intelligence, however, nearly all large parrot species are rare, threatened, or endangered. To successfully manage and restore these wild populations, Bond and Diamond argue, we must develop a fuller understanding of their biology and the complex set of ecological and behavioral traits that has led to their vulnerability. Spanning the global distribution of parrot species, Thinking like a Parrot is rich with surprising insights into parrot intelligence, flexibility, and--even in the face of threats--resilience.

A Visual Guide to Birds

Author: Sol90 Editorial Staff

Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc

ISBN: 1538381869

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 104

View: 826

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From beaks and flying styles to nests and dances, readers of this vibrant book will learn about the basic characteristics and fascinating variations of different bird species. They will become familiar with how different birds are born and develop, how birds migrate in different parts of the world, and how birds develop different strategies for defense against predators. In addition to the scientifically accurate and informative text, captivating visuals will introduce readers to the hoatzin of the Amazon, the grey crowned crane of eastern and southern Africa, the tawny frogmouth of Australia, and more. Readers will also connect to more common birds, learn about bird domestication, and realize the dangers that endangered species of birds face.

Ein Garten Eden

Meisterwerke der botanischen Illustration

Author: H. Walter Lack

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9783822857274

Category: Botanical illustration

Page: 576

View: 5768

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Ikonographische Quelle/Quellen - Botanik - Pflanzenkunde.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London

Biological sciences. Series B

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Biology

Page: N.A

View: 4013

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Each issue of Transactions B is devoted to a specific area of the biological sciences, including clinical science. All papers are peer reviewed and edited to the highest standards. Published on the 29th of each month, Transactions B is essential reading for all biologists.

Evolution and the Emergent Self

The Rise of Complexity and Behavioral Versatility in Nature

Author: Raymond L. Neubauer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231521685

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 3843

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Evolution and the Emergent Self is an eloquent and evocative new synthesis that explores how the human species emerged from the cosmic dust. Lucidly presenting ideas about the rise of complexity in our genetic, neuronal, ecological, and ultimately cosmological settings, the author takes readers on a provocative tour of modern science's quest to understand our place in nature and in our universe. Readers fascinated with "Big History" and drawn to examine big ideas will be challenged and enthralled by Raymond L. Neubauer's ambitious narrative. How did humans emerge from the cosmos and the pre-biotic Earth, and what mechanisms of biological, chemical, and physical sciences drove this increasingly complex process? Neubauer presents a view of nature that describes the rising complexity of life in terms of increasing information content, first in genes and then in brains. The evolution of the nervous system expanded the capacity of organisms to store information, making learning possible. In key chapters, the author portrays four species with high brain:body ratios—chimpanzees, elephants, ravens, and dolphins—showing how each species shares with humans the capacity for complex communication, elaborate social relationships, flexible behavior, tool use, and powers of abstraction. A large brain can have a hierarchical arrangement of circuits that facilitates higher levels of abstraction. Neubauer describes this constellation of qualities as an emergent self, arguing that self-awareness is nascent in several species besides humans and that potential human characteristics are embedded in the evolutionary process and have emerged repeatedly in a variety of lineages on our planet. He ultimately demonstrates that human culture is not a unique offshoot of a language-specialized primate, but an analogue of fundamental mechanisms that organisms have used since the beginning of life on Earth to gather and process information in order to buffer themselves from fluctuations in the environment. Neubauer also views these developments in a cosmic setting, detailing open thermodynamic systems that grow more complex as the energy flowing through them increases. Similar processes of increasing complexity can be found in the "self-organizing" structures of both living and nonliving forms. Recent evidence from astronomy indicates that planet formation may be nearly as frequent as star formation. Since life makes use of the elements commonly seeded into space by burning and expiring stars, it is reasonable to speculate that the evolution of life and intelligence that happened on our planet may be found across the universe.