The world's first complicated 'bird society'

Many animals are social, but only a few have what biologists call a complex society.

For animals, complex societies are places where individuals are part of a stable group, suited to larger networks. This requires the ability to recognize individuals who are not part of an animal or tribal group and to remember relationship status.

When discovered recently, western gorillas have complex societies, which is surprising because scientists extrapolate too much from chimpanzee studies, where every chimpanzee is outside the army. are all considered hostile. However, it is hard to believe that our large brains cousins ​​can track individuals in other groups.

Picture 1 of The world's first complicated 'bird society'
Vulturine guineafowl.

At first glance, the Vulturine guineafowl seems too ill- advised to maintain more than one simple command.

Papageorgiou as soon as it was discovered there were reports of Vulturine guineafowl birds forming . 18 social groups with 13-65 members each. The groups live on overlapping territories without participating in land battles.

Instead, some groups are more associated with others than may be attributed to chance but are not.

In order to maintain a complex society, Vulturine guineafowl must remember not only the members of their group, but also the surrounding groups to know exactly who they spend time with.

"To our knowledge, this is the first time a social structure like this has been described for birds. It's remarkable to watch hundreds of birds fly out and split into complete groups. "How do they do that? Obviously not just smart ," Papageorgiou said in a statement.

Dr Damien Farine, senior author of the study, added: 'The new discovery opens up interesting possibilities for discovering what this bird has made them develop a social system that can be compared. compared to other primates'.

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