Tag archives for pigeon

Pigeons can identify words

A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides evidence that pigeons can learn to recognize words. That is after the birds were trained over a period of 8 months. According to the study authors “The pigeons’ performance is actually more comparable to that of literate humans than baboons’ performance.”…

Pigeons in the lead mine?

  With reported lead poisonings in cities such as Flint Michigan, methods to detect risk of exposure are desperately needed. Since pigeons live in close proximity to humans, could pigeons be the ‘canary in the lead mine’? Researchers at Columbia University in New York City measured the concentrations of lead in the blood of 825 ill or injured feral pigeons to…

Dodo redemption

  Using computed tomography (CT) scans of an intact skull, researchers have discovered that extinct dodo birds (Raphus cucullatus), despite having a rather silly name, were actually pretty smart. Well, as smart as a pigeon at least, and pigeons are pretty smart. Dodos likely also had a good sense of smell based on measurements of the olfactory portion…

Training pigeons to detect cancer

You are probably thinking, whose bird-brained idea was that? Well, as it turns out, a new study published in PLOS ONE shows that pigeons can be trained to accurately differentiate cancerous versus healthy tissue biopsies. This is because the process of diagnosing cancer involves visual screening of MRIs an biopsies and pigeons use similar visual processing…

Pigeons on the menu for some catfish

I came across this interesting video today from Animal Wire that shows a population of catfish caught hunting pigeons on land: Who knew that catfish had more in common with cats than just their whiskers.

What are animals thinking?

I know what I’m doing tonight! I just heard about a special called “What Are Animals Thinking” that will be airing tonight on NOVA ScienceNOW. To check local listings, click here. Watch What Are Animals Thinking? Preview on PBS. See more from NOVA scienceNOW.