If you’re a male budgie, attracting a mate is all about brains rather than brawn, researchers have found.
Researchers studying the birds found seeing ‘clever behavior’ in a male made them irresistible to females.
The groundbreaking research is being hailed as a breakthrough in understanding the brain of non-humans.
Jiani Chen and colleagues tested female preference for problem-solving abilities in males, using the budgerigar – a small Australian parrot, also known as the parakeet.
‘Our results suggest that direct observation of problem-solving skills increases male attractiveness and that this could contribute to the evolution of the cognitive abilities underlying such skills,’ the wrote in the journal Science.
The researchers examined whether female budgerigars altered their preference for males after observing a potential suitor’s ability to open puzzle boxes and access the food within.
In a series of trials, female birds were paired with two males from which she chose a preferred partner.
Then, outside of the view of the female, the non-preferred male was trained to open boxes of food.