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What it’s like to be… a pigeon

They have a bad reputation. But these “rats of the sky” have remarkable skills far beyond human comprehension

By Cal Flyn   April 2021

Illustration: Kate Hazell

Can you enter the mind of another creature without getting hopelessly lost? After publishing my first metamorphising column, in which I attempted to imagine myself into the head of a bat, a reader aired doubts. Such mental somersaulting was all very well, he wrote, but it was a dead end: I was chasing what it would be like for me to be a bat, “not what it is like for a bat to be a bat.” The challenge is not for us to imagine what it’s like to learn echolocation, for example, but to imagine ourselves as having different…

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