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FREE SUNDAY | Are Birds Airheads?

Date: November 5, 2023 - 10:30 AM
Place: Aire Desjardins du Grand hall
Price: 0$

FREE SUNDAY | Are Birds Airheads?

A lecture and reading by Louis Lefebvre, biologist, ethologist and retired McGill University professor, author of Tête de linotte, recently published by Les Éditions de Boréal

Birds have long had the reputation of not being as intelligent as mammals. And yes, it's true that many birds really are airheads... Others, however, are as intelligent as most apes, and have even more neurons than them in the part of their brain that corresponds to our cortex.

In this illustrated talk, we will take a look at experiments that highlight the extraordinary abilities of birds such as the New Caledonian crow and the New Zealand kea. We'll also see how a new method for estimating the intelligence of thousands of bird species enables us to verify questions that researchers have long been asking: does being innovative, i.e. inventing new ways of feeding, encourage the invasion of new countries? Does it protect against the risk of extinction? Is a migratory species more innovative than one that stays in one place summer and winter? Does being innovative mean living longer? What's the difference between the brain of an innovator and that of a non-innovator? And finally, what does this mean for the evolution of human intelligence?

Talk offered in collaboration with the Salon du livre de Rimouski as part of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications' Dimanches gratuit program.

Lecture offered in French

Tickets available here

The Gardens will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those wishing to stroll through the gardens to observe the birds, wildlife and fall colours.

Copies of his new book, Tête de linotte, will be available for purchase and signing session.

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