Ornithology: Share and discuss scientific articles on parrots!

HeatherG

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In the paper the article is covering, the researchers used the ratio of brain mass to body mass (encephalization). In the paper, the scientist references other studies on that same relative brain size as well as neural density.
Yes, but is there really much difference in encephalization quotient between these two Aratinga conures? How can there be?
 

LeeC

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Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Yes, but is there really much difference in encephalization quotient between these two Aratinga conures? How can there be?
That is a fantastic question, @HeatherG. I was wondering where that data comes from. Where do they get carcasses (a sufficient quantity, and the many species)? It seems timely necropsies are rare. (Sadly, I've had one done: Sun Conure, severe heart disease when I got him.) The mass of such a small brain would seem to require a very precise scale, too, with dehydration skewing results.

I was reading this:
A Farewell to the Encephalization Quotient: A New Brain Size Measure for Comparative Primate Cognition

We also find that the estimate of cognitive brain size based on cognitive equivalence fits empirical cognitive studies better than the encephalization quotient, which should therefore be avoided in future studies on primates and presumably mammals and birds in general.

They try to "break down" the brain mass to assign an amount to cognitive brain function versus somatic, which apparently makes a meaningful difference. There are some smart people out their doing important work.
 

HeatherG

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Yup I have read lately that scientists think the encephalization quotient is not so accurate.

Part of the problem is that different classes of animals have brains that are put together differently. Like bird brains store information in a compact layer. And cephalopods have a main brain and multiple ganglia above each arm; and our nearest ancestors are SO remote that it’s difficult to compare anything.
 

HeatherG

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Excepts:
"Persistent hyperglycemia and glycosuria are mainly demonstrated in the affected birds. It is more common in budgerigars , cockatiels and galahs. Among others, larger psittacine , toucans, mynahs are also affected."

" The underlying mechanism of diabetes is poorly understood in birds. Unlike mammals where insulin has a predominant role in DM, in birds blood glucose level seems to be controlled by a complex hormonal milieu. In comparison to mammalian pancreas, avian pancreas has a low proportion of insulin secreting cells and 5–6 times higher number of glucagon producing cells. Circulating glucagon concentration in avian blood is 10–50 times higher than the mammalian blood. Glucagon as a catabolic hormone plays a pivotal role in gluconeogenesis, lipolysis and glycogenolysis to augment the blood glucose level, while insulin controls the entry of glucose in the cells and its utilization. In birds particularly in granivorous species, Glucagon is considered to play a more relevant role for development of DM. However, other factors like somatostatin, growth hormone, epinephrine, thyroxine, prolactin, pancreatic polypeptides and corticosteroid may have a modulatory role in development of persistent hyperglycemia. Hyper production of any of these hormones either due to tumor of the hormone producing cells or due to paraneoplastic syndrome may lead to such condition. Islet cell carcinoma with DM has been described in a parakeet ."

"
  1. Type I DM: It is purely of pancreatic origin due to selective destruction of pancreatic cells. This form of the DM is more common in toucans and parrots.
  2. 2.
    Type II DM: The type II DM is associated with some other diseases or conditions like obesity and iron storage diseases.
  3. 3.
    Type III DM: It is linked with pancreatic diseases like pancreatic neoplasia, pancreatic insufficiency and pancreatitis. Some insulin inhibitory chemicals or drugs like megestrol acetate, medroxyprogesterone acetate or corticosteroids."
"

3.2.2.2 Clinical Findings​

Clinical manifestation of the birds is straightforward—

  1. 1.
    Polyuria
  2. 2.
    Polyphagia
  3. 3.
    Polydipsia
  4. 4.
    Chronic weight loss.
Sometimes, this disease is associated with other non-specific signs like obesity, vomiting and lethargy. However, the affected birds generally maintain a good appetite.

3.2.2.3 Diagnosis​

The main diagnosis is based on the detection of persistent hyperglycemia and glycosuria. However, detection of blood glucose level is tricky in birds as the avian blood glucose level is higher than in mammalian. Therefore, consistently higher level of blood glucose 38–44 mmol/l is indicative of DM in birds. Other than glucose, presence of ketone bodies in urine is also indicative of DM in birds."

"Moreover, other conditions like diabetes insipidus, medication with corticosteroids, diuretics, progesterone, renal or hepatic insufficiency, other hormonal irregularities should be considered before definite diagnosis of DM in birds."

"

3.2.2.4 Treatment​

Management of DM is always a challenge. In birds it is more difficult as it is not easy to monitor the blood glucose level and thereby to evaluate the effect of the hypoglycemic drugs. The main objective of the treatment is to lower down the blood glucose level and maintain it. The treatment constitutes of insulin and other hypoglycemic drugs like sulfonylurea. The acute rise of blood glucose level can be treated with short acting insulin @ 0.1–0.2 U/kg. However, to maintain the blood glucose level persistently long acting insulin is prescribed with a varying dose (0.067–3.3 U/kg OD/BID) depending upon the clinical improvement and the blood glucose or urinary glucose level."

"Dietary management of the affected birds is good option. In many cases dietary management itself is enough to control DM in birds without any antidiabetic drug intervention. It is important to avoid high calorie diet or diet with high fat like sunflower oil. This can control obesity. Increasing fiber supple mention is also an important part for clinical resolution of DM in birds."

See linked article for full text and information on DM, as not all text was exported.

Other conditions are also covered in linked article.
@PippTheBananaBirb
 

HeatherG

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I’m trying to understand the differences between jenday and nanday conures natural history and their difficulties in management. The first article (when nature calls) says that jendays do much better than nandays in aviculture, yet they are similar sized birds from the same genus. The second article (journal article from royal society of aviculture) listed some factors that correlate with difficulty in management (broadness of diet, rarity of bird, bird lives in many different types of environments).

What I came up with is that it seems that nanday conures live in more landscape/ environmental types and eat many more types of foods in the wild than jenday conures. And nandays have more feather destructive behavior, stereotypies, and other difficulties in aviculture. So maybe nandays are equipped or set up to deal with greater variety and when they’re in a restricted captive environment eating, for example, pellets, they have more difficulties.

I didn’t explain this wonderfully but maybe the nanday brain is expecting more variety and work then the jenday brain so when they’re in similar environments the nandays do worse. (Explanation isn’t very scientific but I’ve been away from this language for a long time.).
 
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Laurasea

Laurasea

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I quoted this article about a paper in another thread (relating to "the social complexity mismatch hypothesis" for parrots), but I also located the article itself. ...Fascinating stuff! (I realize the article title sounds obvious here in the forum, but it is aimed at the entire animal behavior community.)

Here is the article about the paper, which is a good read. Some may recognize the article author.

Highly Intelligent Pet Parrots Most Likely To Suffer Mental Health Problems

Here is the full paper:
Nature calls: intelligence and natural foraging style predict poor welfare in captive parrots
Thank you will read thrm all
 
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Laurasea

Laurasea

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Maybe there was an error in Wikipedia or I made a copying error…anyhow that’s not my point. I am asking how they quantify intelligence vs brain size vs. relatedness (to what?). Both jenday and nanday are aratinga. Is there an obvious stupidity difference between these two birds?

What you are arguing about is beside the point. Maybe this is an error of translation; I’m not sure. But you are not understanding what I’m talking about. And my statement was working from the jenday and nanday Wikipedia articles and assuming they were accurate, as I don’t know much about classification within aratinga.

So…how do you prove whether nanday or jenday is “smarter” and more likely to have “mental illness” and what are nanday and jenday compared to as a base?
I haven't caught up yet. Or read everything yet.

But Nanday are considered tge loudest parrot and noise is often linked with flock size ( species normal of how large standard flocks are). Or how they forage and need to stay in contact. Both of those if they do have larger normal flocks, and their foraging techniques and niche could correlation with bigger brain smarter. The more social they are and the more complex their society structure is linked with higher intelligence.
But I will have to research to see if that holds up
 
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Laurasea

Laurasea

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I’m trying to understand the differences between jenday and nanday conures natural history and their difficulties in management. The first article (when nature calls) says that jendays do much better than nandays in aviculture, yet they are similar sized birds from the same genus. The second article (journal article from royal society of aviculture) listed some factors that correlate with difficulty in management (broadness of diet, rarity of bird, bird lives in many different types of environments).

What I came up with is that it seems that nanday conures live in more landscape/ environmental types and eat many more types of foods in the wild than jenday conures. And nandays have more feather destructive behavior, stereotypies, and other difficulties in aviculture. So maybe nandays are equipped or set up to deal with greater variety and when they’re in a restricted captive environment eating, for example, pellets, they have more difficulties.

I didn’t explain this wonderfully but maybe the nanday brain is expecting more variety and work then the jenday brain so when they’re in similar environments the nandays do worse. (Explanation isn’t very scientific but I’ve been away from this language for a long time.).
Oh good you've already researched some of this.

Abd that fits with my previous hypothesis about flock size or foraging behavior amd noise level with intelligence.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Oh good you've already researched some of this.

Abd that fits with my previous hypothesis about flock size or foraging behavior amd noise level with intelligence.
Yup I read both articles and that’s what I had to conclude. Very interesting hypothesis and factors influencing feather destructive behavior, low hatch rate, etc.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
342
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Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
My curiosity about the existence and meaning of a "flock leader" led me to this interesting article that sheds light, I think, on parrots' ability to and desire to mimic. It puts a new light on my "parrot the parrot" fun, too.

Parrot talk can lead to flock
https://phys.org/news/2021-06-parrot-flock.html

Edit: I almost missed it, but the original paper is linked at the bottom of the article.
1670346784625.png


Follow the leader? Orange-fronted conures eavesdrop on conspecific vocal performance and utilise it in social decisions
 
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Rozalka

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This article was published 2 days ago and so far it's the largest research about parrots mimic abilities so I thought I'd share it
 

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