Do you sometimes feel guilty about eating eggs?
Did you ever wish you were a better singer?
Today might be your lucky day. Here’s what would happen if humans evolved as birds
You’ve probably heard that crows are smart, but can you believe just how much they have in common with humans?
While crows don’t have hands, their unusually straight bills enable them to grip objects with precision, while their forward facing eyes give them improved depth perception. These two traits, along with opposable talons, makes crows skilled at rudimentary tool-making and construction. They’re also capable of social reasoning, and abstract thinking.
In fact, they’re about as intelligent as humans were 2 million years ago. So is it possible that, had things gone a little differently, we might’ve become birdpeople?
Being half bird and half human requires a few hard to make trade-offs. First of all, would you rather be smart? Or be able to fly? Your brain requires a lot of energy to function reliably throughout the day. The average human requires at least 1300 calories per day to survive, and your brain burns about 20% of those calories just from thinking!
While some birds are smarter than others, most of their energy goes into flying. The common chickadee eats about 35% of its body weight every day, which, if for a 150 pound human,
comes to about 600 granola bars.
So, our bird-human population would require a lot more food. Meat, nut, and dairy consumption would increase, since those foods are rich in calories. This would put so much strain on our food resources that we might eventually have to give up flying altogether.
Suppose, like crows and earlier species of birds and dinosaurs,nwe evolved with opposable talons. We’d probably start making tools to improve our quality of life. But if we came to rely on our tool-making nature, then there would be less of a need to fly, since our infrastructure would be land-based.
Our talons would evolve and increase in functionality, and while we wouldn’t lose our wings, we wouldn’t really use them either. Human birds would probably become short-distance gliders, which isn’t as fun as flying, but at least it eases our food requirements.
Now, to the question you’ve been waiting for. Laying eggs. Would we do it? Yes, we would. And it would drastically change the structure of our society. When a bird egg hatches, the chick tends to bond with the first moving thing it sees. It could be its mother, or it might just be any other bird passing by.
In our bird-man society, group parenting would likely be the norm, and the division of labor would be split between child-rearing and food gathering roles.” Laying eggs limits mobility, and as bird-people, we probably wouldn’t be as inclined to venture too far from the nest.
After all, our flying abilities would be capped, and being smaller in size than today’s average human, we’d have a larger list of predators to contend with. For example, as bird-people, having a pet cat probably wouldn’t be the best idea. Also, as bird people, we’d probably build our homes in the trees as a means of protection. That would force us to be a lot more environmentally conscious, since a sustainable habitat would depend on maintaining healthy forests.
Again, because of a greater threat of predators, it would be safer to stick close to home instead of going out to hunt, so our communities would have to rely heavily on agriculture, especially on protein-rich nuts.
This would increase the need for environmental protection, but at the same time, this would also increase our daily food requirements to meet our high-calorie diet.
After all, it’s not like we’d be eating chicken anymore…
So aside from taking better care of our environment, and being less individualistic and more community-oriented, it seems like this kind of life style truly is ‘for the birds.’
Still wish you could fly?Sources