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Avian evolution: from Darwin's finches to a new way of thinking about avian forebrain organization and behavioural capabilities

By Anton Reiner


The study of birds, especially the Galapagos finches, was important to Darwin in the development of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Birds have also been at the centre of a recent reformulation in understanding cerebral evolution and the substrates for higher cognition. While it was once thought that birds possess a simple cerebrum and were thus limited to instinctive behaviours, it is now clear that birds possess a well-developed cerebrum that looks very different from the mammalian cerebrum but can support a cognitive ability that for some avian species rivals that in primates

Topics: Opinion Piece
Publisher: The Royal Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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