P-J Guay, MA Weston, MRE Symonds, HK Glover (2013) Brains and bravery: Little evidence of a relationship between brain size and flightiness in shorebirds. Austral Ecology 28: 516-522.

What’s it about?

A comparative analysis of brain size and flight initiation distance (the distance at which a bird responds to an approaching threat by escaping) in birds found that there wasn’t really any relationship between the two. Contrary to predictions.

What’s the story behind it?

I’d know Patrick-Jean Guay for quite a few years, and we’d always had some similar interests, particularly in the application of phylogenetic comparative methods to evolutionary questions. This was the first time we collaborated, however, when Pat had some knotty problems with this particular comparative analysis, which I helped out on. A nice example of transferrable skills (since bird flight initiation distances are not my immediate forte).

 

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