The current study analyzes social and life-history data from several thousand songbirds, including 127 corvids, the family that includes jays, crows, ravens, and magpies. Results show that corvids are unusual in having larger brains and ‘extended childhoods,’ where parents provide the young with a safe haven to learn and practice skills they need to survive as adults. These findings shed light on how extended parenting in humans facilitated the evolution of our extraordinarily large brains.
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