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September 12 2013

Big-Brained Birds May Stress Less


Bird species with larger than average brains have lower levels of a key stress hormone, an analysis of nearly 200 avian studies has concluded. Such birds keep their stress down by anticipating or learning to avoid problems more effectively than smaller-brained counterparts, researchers suggest.

Birds in the wild lead a stressful life. Constantly spotting predators lurking in the trees or sensing dramatic changes in temperature is essential for survival, but can leave birds on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

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