Ecological constraints on the evolution of avian brains
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- Winkler, H., Leisler, B. & Bernroider, G. J Ornithol (2004) 145: 238. doi:10.1007/s10336-004-0040-y
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Brain size is energetically constrained. Contrasts can be made not only between migrants and residents, but also between birds in habitats with high and low levels of available food.
Brain size is developmentally constrained; birds with short growing periods should have smaller forebrains. Comparisons need to be made between birds living in habitats with long and short breeding seasons.
Bill adaptations for foraging constrain braincase dimensions. Further analyses would need to be done on groups with high variation in bill dimensions and foraging modes.
Birds with small brains have to migrate to compensate for low behavioral flexibility. Contrasts between members of families containing tropical residents and migrants need to be made.