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Long childhoods and extended parenting help young crows grow smarter


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Humans are unusual, even among primates, in the length of our "extended childhood." Scientists think that this period of childhood and adolescence, which gives us lots of time to explore, create, and learn, is a key reason why we are smart enough to learn skills that take years to master. But humans are not the only species with an extended childhood. Elephants, some bats, whales, dolphins, and some birds—especially corvids—also have them. But does an extended childhood confer higher intelligence for other species, and if so, what is the role of parenting?

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