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Pigeons: The Unlikely Genius Of The Animal Kingdom

We all heard in history class that pigeons were used as a means of letter and messaging sending – but what may surprise you is the weird bird we know today is a lot smarter than you think!

They love street food scraps, they’re often a bit mangled looking but they’re also incredibly smart and research on pigeon intelligence has picked up serious speed these last few years.

Not only can they solve incredibly complex mathematics but in some cases they can even identify deadly tumours.

Listen to the full episode below:

Cosmos Magazine journalist Petra Stock joins Dr Sophie Callabretto on the latest episode of The Science Briefing for a comprehensive pigeon intelligence blow-by-blow.

“Pigeon intelligence, it turns out, has been known about for thousands of years. Pigeons have quite a legacy as delivery birds, so homing and messenger pigeons are able to find their way home over extremely long distances,” Stock said.

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“It’s kind of an unlikely scenario when you see these birds pottering around the CBD pooping on statues, hanging around the bins at the park… who would’ve thought!”

“But research on pigeons, or pigeon intelligence, is actually growing with some researchers comparing the way the birds can demonstrate skills that are actually similar to that that we think of with artificial intelligence these days.”

Introducing The Science Briefing: a podcast about the science of everything and your new go-to podcast for your snapshot of science news. Hosted by Dr Sophie Calabretto and featuring journalists from Cosmos Magazine. Hear it on the LiSTNR app now.