Mathias Osvath received funding from the Swedish Research Council for the project: Social cognition of early birds – the sociability of extinct dinosaurs.
The funding runs over four years with a total sum of 5 200 000 SEK.


Project Abstract:


Social cognition of early birds – the sociability of extinct dinosaurs
This project delivers the first-ever reconstructions of the evolution of social cognition in the extinct dinosaur lineage that led to birds. Exploring the evolution of social cognition is key for understanding the emergence of complex cognition as a whole. Cognitive evolution reveals itself in behavioral comparisons of species in strategic phylogenetic positions. However, such comparisons have not systematically enquired the historical depths of the animal kingdom, which is why we lack knowledge about how cognition transformed through geological time, leaving us largely ignorant about nature’s bauplan for its most extraordinary creation. This project mends the gap by comparing the closest living relatives of non-avian dinosaurs: palaeognath birds and crocodilians.