In Situ Science

Ep 92. Bird brains, documentaries and serial killers with Lucy Farrow

January 6, 2020

SPECIAL GUEST: Lucy Farrow (UNE)

Humans have the biggest brains of any animals… well, kind of… only if we correct for body size… which is important… we think. Understanding animal intelligence is difficult, especially when brains are so complex that our own brains might be incapable of understanding themselves. When it comes to animals, brain size has been a primary indicator of intelligence, however showing that having bigger brains leads to greater intelligence is harder than it sounds. You can’t exactly ask a sloth to fill out a survey, or ask an octopus sit an IQ test. 

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Lucy Farrow is a PhD student at the University of New England that studies cognition in one of Australia’s most notorious birds, the noisey miner. Their complex societies and behaviour make them incredibly successful urban invaders. Before becoming a research scientist she spent time working with National Geographic working filming documentaries throughout South Africa.

Follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyFarrow7

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Music: ‘Strange Stuff’ by Sonic Wallpaper - www.sonicwallpaper.bandcamp.com