The study found that the overall size of the dodo's brain in relation to its body size was on par with its closest living relatives: pigeons - birds whose ability to be trained implies they are no dummies.
The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a large, flightless bird that lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, where they were last seen alive in 1662.
Though the bird has become iconic in popular culture, most aspects of the dodo's biology are still unknown, partly because specimens are extremely rare, researchers said.
To examine the brain of the dodo, Gold tracked down a well-preserved skull from the collections of London's Natural History Museum and imaged it there with high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scanning, which can produce images of the brain inferred from the shape of the skull.
The results found that the dodo's brain was about average for its body size.
While the brains of dodos might not have been small, they did show some unexpected surprises, researchers said.
The study was published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.


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