Remember the bird from the cartoon “Ice Age”? Well, a new study suggests that the dodo, an extinct bird whose name has entered popular culture as a symbol of stupidity, was actually pretty smart.
The overall brain size of the dodo in relation to its body size was on par with its closest living relatives: pigeons, birds whose trainability suggests a moderate level of intelligence.
“He’s not impressively big or impressively small — it’s exactly the size you would map to his body size,” said study lead author Eugenia Gold of Stony Brook University in New York.
“So, if you take brain size as a proxy for intelligence, dodos were probably about the same intelligence level as pigeons. Of course, intelligence is more than just overall brain size, but it gives us a basic measure,” Gold said.