Convergent Evolution of Intelligence Between Corvids and Primates
Convergent evolution describes the analogous (as opposed to homologous) acquisition of similar traits in phylogenetically diverse species facing similar selection pressures. Corvids and primates are often observed to exhibit highly intelligent behavior (with intelligence typically operationalized in this context as those behaviors that indicate the presence of advanced capacities once thought unique to humans or cognitive capacities which surpass those of humans). This led Emery and Clayton (2004) to identify primates and corvids as a case of convergent evolution of intelligence, citing the two groups’ capacity for causal reasoning, cognitive flexibility, imagination, and prospection as the key ingredients of a shared cognitive toolkit.
Primates and corvids comprise some of the most enigmatic study species in the field of comparative...
- Call, J. (2010). Trapping the minds of apes: Causal knowledge and inferential reasoning about object–object interactions. In E. V. Lonsdorf, S. R. Ross, & T. Matsuzawa (Eds.), The mind of the chimpanzee: Ecological and experimental perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Köhler, W. (1925). The mentality of apes. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner. Translation of: Köhler, W. (1917). Intelligenzprüfungen an Anthropoiden (trans: Winter, E.). Berlin: Royal Prussian Society of Sciences.Google Scholar
- Povinelli, D. J., & Bering, J. M. (2002). The Mentality of Apes revisited. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 115–119.Google Scholar