Parrots brain

Carril et al 2015A team of researchers from Argentina has recently studied the endocranial morphology of Neotropical parrots. They reconstructed the endocasts from several species and conducted a morphological analysis to evaluate the previously proposed evolutionary history of these taxa. Their investigation supplies three main findings. First, these birds have higher than expected brain volumes for their body mass, and the authors suggest this might be associated with the evolution of cognitive abilities or their versatile behaviour. Second, two different morphotypes were distinguished according to the maximum width of the hemispheres: a more quadrangular or walnut-shaped brain and a more rounded brain shape. A reconstruction of the ancestral morphology is similar to the more rounded type. However, as the distribution of the two types across the species is heterogeneous, the authors hypothesize the walnut type might be the primitive for all the parrots, and the rounded type primitive for the Neotropical parrots.

Sofia Pedro


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