Maybe this is why Sesame Street has Big Bird and not Big Dog or Big Cat: Birds process the world similarly to humans, being highly spatial and intelligent. They’re so similar to us that — just like Big Bird, only in the real world — they can actually outperform our young. According to a new study, kids up to 4 years old must bow before the mental prowess of the humble cockatoo.
A new study shows that “object permanence” cognitive abilities in cockatoos rival those of the great apes — and four-year-old human children …
Object permanence is the idea that, like a cashew nut hidden in a pocket, an object exists even when it is not visible to the observer …
This level of cognitive development does not occur in human children until they reach four years of age. But according to a newly published study by an international team of scientific researchers and a flock of cockatoos based at the University of Vienna, object permanence abilities in young cockatoos rival those of four-year-old human children.
Said parrot owners everywhere, “Duh!”
The researchers made sure to add that more studies are needed, as the sample size was small, and they want to discover if these findings are similar with different species. But I’d still start preparing your children now for the inevitable face-off with their avian overlords in 2075.
- Cockatoos are smarter than human toddlers, The Guardian
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