WHY DIDN’T DI­NOSAURS EVOLVE TO BE MORE IN­TEL­LI­GENT?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Science -

They did! Di­nosaurs evolved into mod­ern birds and some of them are ex­tremely in­tel­li­gent. In Ja­pan, there are crows that have learnt to use the traf­fic to crack the shells of nuts that they drop – and they will wait for the lights to turn red, so they can safely re­trieve them.

One rea­son that birds still aren’t as in­tel­li­gent as hu­mans is that a heavy, en­ergy-hun­gry brain doesn’t mix well with birds’ main adap­tive ad­van­tage – fly­ing. It’s im­por­tant to re­alise that in­tel­li­gence isn’t the goal of evo­lu­tion, nor is it al­ways the best adap­ta­tion to the en­vi­ron­ment. The enor­mous sauro­pod di­nosaurs lasted on the planet for 100 mil­lion years, de­spite their tiny brains. We’ve had ‘in­tel­li­gence’ for just a few mil­lion years, so it’s too early to say whether it is a bet­ter strat­egy. LV

Ar­chaeopteryx was an an­i­mal that shared fea­tures of both di­nosaurs and mod­ern birds

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