The pigeons found the collective mind
Zoologists from the UK found that pigeons, like people, can learn not only from those with whom I communicate directly, but their “teachers”.
The results of the study presented in the journal Nature Communications.
The ability to collect, transmit and develop knowledge in a few generations, as was formerly believed, characteristic of only humans and maybe some primates. However, the authors of the study in the course of the work noticed that pigeons with years find more convenient routes. Biologists have released doves in pairs from the same place. Gradually they were replaced by others not yet familiar with the route. As a result, pigeons are not only “taught” each other, but also improved the route of the entire group.
“At some point, scientists believed that only people have developed enough cognitive ability to accumulate knowledge as a group. Our study shows that pigeons are also capable of it, at least to the extent that allows them to improve their behavior. However, we do not believe that they achieve this through the same mechanisms as people,” said one of the authors, a researcher from Oxford University Takao Sasaki.
“The significant novelty of the work, in our opinion, is that the gradual improvement of the route is not due to new “ideas” of individual animals. Instead, the necessary improvements in each generation are obtained through a kind of collective intelligence, which is obtained when a pair of birds decides to work together. That’s what they say “one head is good, two is better”,” said co-author, Professor of the University of Oxford’s Dora Biro.