Bird brains

Are you smarter than a macaw?

Ounce for ounce, bird brains have significantly more neurons than mammal or primate brains

Given that birds fly, giving a very high cost to mass, it is no surprise that there has been strong selection pressure for low mass computation.

Given that flight is a high energy activity, it is no surprise that there has been less pressure on energy efficiency vs mass content in avian brains. (Given it takes so much energy to fly, a little bit more for computation isn’t a huge cost.)

The cost benefit matrices between avian and mammalian systems are very different. Horses for courses as the old saying goes – which takes on new overtones in the contexts of complexity theory and evolutionary theory.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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