Seeking Social Proximity Improves Flight Routes Among Pigeons

Computer model demonstrates that when older and younger birds are paired together, desire for social proximity leads to generational improvement in flight paths

A new study conducted by Dr. Edwin Dalmaijer, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Bristol, UK, looked at the social influences on pigeon flight routes. Comparing the flight patterns of pairs of pigeons to a computer model, the researcher found that flight paths are improved as younger birds learn the route from older birds and also make route improvements, leading to overall more efficient routes over generations. The study was published June 6, 2024 in the open-access journal PLoS Biology. The article is titled “Cumulative Route Improvements Spontaneously Emerge in Artificial Navigators Even in the Absence of Sophisticated Communication or Thought.”
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