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Introduction on CNS of Local Birds


The central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord, is an important system to all organisms. CNS is composed of neural cells (neurons) which process sensory stimulation, coordinate other systems within the body, give responses and are involved in complex activities such as learning and creating or accessing cognitive memory. Although the ability of CNS of different organism varies, the basic functions of neurons are the same.

There are approximately 735 species of birds in Malaysia. The success of these diverse bird species living in different habitats (e.g. forest, town) reflects their adaptation abilities (e.g. tree roosting bird, ground bird) which indirectly reflects the development of the CNS of these (2, 3). Bird species that successfully exploited various habitats would be good models for CNS development structures studies in relation to relevant specific abilities. Such approaches in studies on species diversity in relation to lifestyle of local freshwater fishes had been done. Living in different habitats which required different lifestyle adaptations to survive well would be an expression on advanced CNS sub-system at different levels for specific species. This is so, since well developed specific capabilities would be needed to survive in a particular environment. However, there is no established studies of local birds CNS. As a research pilot, we started a review of the crow brain, a bird known for its 'intelligence' in local stories and foreign tradition.

Thus, this study aimed to establish systematic information on the characterization of local birds CNS for documentation as a national biodiversity heritage. The information would be able to assist researchers intending to carry out further studies on the CNS of local birds. In addition, the results can also be used to study the relationship between birds; neuroanatomical characterization as a factor to be considered in understanding the phylogeny of birds.