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9 comments

This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

Posted December 07, 2012 12:13 PM

From Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. - CNET:

The bird is the word. How do you appease a 10-year-old parrot with clipped wings, a loud mouth, and separation anxiety? Give the intelligent bird a way to get around the house so it can follow you, of course.

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#1

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/07/2012 1:26 PM

Neat, but dogs can learn to drive real cars.

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#2

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/07/2012 5:30 PM

Nobody tell John Cleese. It's a Norwegian Blue parrot. One that hasn't yet shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the choir invisble.

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#3

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/08/2012 3:08 AM

This illustrates that we need to reconsider the expression "bird brain". Birds can master human technology and adapt it to their needs. We humans, on the other hand, are a bit clumsy at accomplishing what birds are capable of...

let us go back a few million years...

Many of the species we designate as "thunder lizards" apparently were, in fact, warm-blooded, which means they were NOT reptiles, as we define them today. Not all dinosaurs went extinct- the smart ones just got a whole lot smaller and learned how to fly...

These early "dinosaurs" invented feathers- most likely as a heat exchanger, since most of them appear to have inhabited tropical environs- even today, one can observe birds spreading their wings to cool off. Of course, feathers also work to keep heat in when the weather turns cold- much more efficient at maintaining body temperature than the hair that we mammals adopted. The fact that they also learned how to fly using this same basic concept speaks volumes about their versatility...

Speaking of versatility, birds have occupied EVERY CONTINENT (including Antarctica) long before humans ever thought of leaving Africa. Also, any number of isolated islands that we humans consider "uninhabited". They are much more adept at adapting to changing climate than we humans could ever hope to be. As well as adapting to different food sources. You will find birds where humans could not survive...

We could learn a lot from birds (like using canaries to test the air in coal mines).

We can also learn a lot from dogs- the first species to form a synergistic relationship with another primary predator- if you own a dog, it should be quite obvious that dogs get the most benefit from the relationship (easy access to food supply, free medical care, etc.).

We should be looking more at how we can learn from our fellow creatures, than what they can learn from us. After all, birds can use human inventions- we are no where near as inventive as birds...

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/08/2012 8:10 AM

All this information about how birds evolved and adapted, developed the concept of the feather as an insulator then conceived the idea of flight and were smart enough to adapt their feathers for flight -- did your friends the birds explain all of this to you in an email? I'm just trying to understand how you know this.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/08/2012 10:34 AM

It's all in the archaeological record...

Of course, some may interpret the record a bit differently.

Feathers were originally developed not as an insulator, but, rather, as a heat exchanger for ridding the body of excessive heat generated due to the higher metabolism of the warm-blooded animal living in a significantly hotter environment than what we humans have had to deal with. It was only later, when temperatures started dropping precipitously, that they figured out how to use the same mechanism to keep the heat in...

By the way, if you watch the training video, where the trainer is trying to get the bird to turn right, you will note that the bird did exactly what the trainer indicated, which was to get the cart pointed to the right (albeit, using a round-about approach rather than the direct approach desired by the trainer). The bird focused on outcome, while the trainer was more concerned with technique...

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/08/2012 10:49 AM

Yes, I know that this is in the archaeological record. You miss my point. Did the birds tell you this, or did you (or some other humans) figure this out?

In his 'Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy' series, Douglas Adams postulated that all human activity was actually controlled by mice. We do what we do because secretly the mice are controlling us. (The mice actually being hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings). You seem to have taken that concept and applied it to birds.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/08/2012 1:03 PM

I haven't gotten far enough in my theorizing to consider the possibility of humans being controlled by birds- mostly, based on my limited experience with birds, birds seem to consider humans an insignificant addition to the ecosphere. However, i have observed some individual birds demonstrating some degree of control over their human "masters" (much as dogs seem to be capable of)...

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#7

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/08/2012 12:14 PM

This reminds me of a pet pigeon I had as kid. Either he was very smart or very lazy being that if given the chance instead of flying around the farm yard he would try to hitch a free ride on any horse, sheep, human, or machine that appeared to be moving in the direction he wanted to go.

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#9

Re: This Parrot Doesn't Fly -- It Drives A Buggy

12/09/2012 9:15 PM

Next thing they'll be teaching birds to fly!

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