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Dinosaurs had the ability to understand each other’s different points of view long before humans

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When a person near you turns his head towards something in the environment, you probably unconsciously follow the direction of his gaze. This reaction is seen in mammals, birds, and even reptiles alike, and is an effective way to gather information about what has caught the attention of your companion or companions; But it has been overlooked by you.

However, a much more advanced behavior is to follow someone’s gaze to a location that is initially out of your sight. By repositioning yourself to see what the other person is looking at, you show an understanding that the other person has a different perspective. This ability called “Change or perspective takingIt is known to develop in children between the ages of one and a half to two years old and is used as a basis for understanding referential communication and that others have different points of view from us.

to report ScienceAlertA new study by cognitive zoologists from Lund University in Sweden challenges the idea that mammals were the first group to possess such advanced cognitive ability. Researchers’ observations of crocodiles and birds suggest that the skill of morphing may have originated with dinosaurs as early as 60 million years ago.

Only a few other species, mainly lepidopterans, some primates, wolves, dogs, and some species of birds, have the ability to alter, and not much is known about how this capacity evolved in other species.

Although mammals and birds are separated by 325 million years of evolution, they have independently evolved similar cognitive abilities. Aberration has been observed in few species, and researchers predict that it may have evolved several times throughout history.

In what they believe is the first study of its kind, the researchers compared paleognaths (a type of ostrich with brains similar to its dinosaur ancestors) and crocodiles (the birds’ closest living relatives). Birds and crocodiles are the only living representatives of archosaurs, or reptiles, a group that includes winged reptiles and non-avian dinosaurs.

Stephen Reber A cognitive scientist from Lund University believes that crocodiles are an ideal model for studying the evolutionary origin of cognitive capacities in birds. Whatever crocodilians have contributed to, most likely existed in the common ancestor of dinosaurs and crocodilians. “If crocodiles lack an ability that birds have, that ability probably evolved after the species split in the dinosaur lineage,” the researchers write. “This approach allows us to study cognitive abilities in extinct species.”

The 30 participants in the study included two large bird species (the Australian ostrich or emu and the great American ostrich) and two small bird species (the graceful crested grouse and the red grouse), and were later joined by their alligator relatives (the American alligator).

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