How smart are dragons?
Honours candidate Daniel Nugent is undertaking research to help us understand individual variation in cognitive ability, focusing on eastern water dragons in Roma Street Parkland.
The dragons in Roma Street Parkland in Brisbane’s central business district are ideal for this study, because they are free-ranging within their habitat, occur in large numbers within the Parkland, and unlike their non-urban counterparts, will tolerate close geographic proximity with humans.
Specifically, Dan is measuring intra-individual variation in cognitive ability among twenty (10 male, 10 female) dragons using an ecologically relevant and statistically robust cognition protocol grounded in comparative cognition.
He is also investigating the extent to which an individual dragon's attributes (e.g. gender, body size) and ecology (e.g. home range, social environment) influences intra-individual variation in cognitive ability.