Birds are an extensively specialized animal group with unique anatomical, physiological and ecological characteristics. Sophisticated social behaviors and remarkable cognitive abilities are present in several avian lineages, driven by their enlarged brains and intricate neural networks. These unique traits could be a result of adaptive evolution under the wide range of environmental constraints; however, the intrinsic mechanisms of avian brain development and evolution remain unclear. Here, we introduce recent findings regarding developmental aspects of avian brain organization and neuronal networks for specific avian behaviors, which provide an insight into the link between the evolution of brain development and complex cognitive functions.
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