Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pigeon brained.

Anyone who has ever grown brassicas knows just how smart pigeons are. So its no surprise to me that Pofessor Shigeru Watanabe of Keio University in Japan has discovered that they are smarter than the average three year old human. It seems that pigeons can tell the difference between live and pre-recorded images when they watch videos. Over a period of three year's research Prof. Watanabe has concluded that pigeons have self-cognitive abilities. What amazes me is that someone or some body somewhere has agreed to fund this research.

The reality is that the relative 'smartness' of a pigeon depends on what the activity is. Dr Christopher Wood has commented on this blog in the past on how inventive they are in the US. And every pigeon in the world has an inbuilt satnav that puts all humans to shame. I was totally 'lost' in Newport last week. Anyway what occurred to me was the pointlessness of it all. Not so much the research, but the ability to differentiate between live and pre-recorded images if you can't turn the video on.

The 'smartness' of birds featured elsewhere in today's Telegragh. Its reported that in Perranporth, Cornwall, a family of swans have learned to use a zebra crossing when strolling around the busy High Street - and that's smarter than your average three year old as well.

1 comment:

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Just seems that sometimes when we study pigeon behaviour they are in fact studying us.