A long childhood and caring parents helped Corvidae to become smarter

Scientists have proposed a model of the influence of external factors on the development of cognitive abilities of animals in which a Central role is played by childhood and caring parents. Their hypothesis the authors of the work published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, illustrate by two examples: new Caledonian crows in the course of the year remain under the care of their parents, to learn how to make tools; Kukshi who have to grow up in another family, lose the ability to learn to search for prey and protection from predators.

Human cognitive abilities unique, and the basis of their development is a long childhood is a period of plasticity in which people learn skills and develop cognitive capacities. However, long-maturing characteristic and other animals: bats, whales, elephants and some birds. Does a long childhood advantage in cognitive development for these species the same as for humans, remains unclear.

Scientists from the UK, Germany and China under the leadership of Michael Gresser (Michael Griesser) from sun Yat-sen University suggested that cognitive abilities depend on the duration of childhood, and a key role in the development of cognitive skills plays a concern for parents. The researchers built a model of the influence of external factors on cognitive abilities of animals, with a Central role being played by the contribution of parents in the education and upbringing of the cubs.

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