Parental Investment May Have Aided Evolution of Larger Brains
[Source: Science Daily]
A review of evidence from prior research provides new support for the possibility that the evolution of larger brains in some species was enabled through increased energy investment by parents in their offspring. Carel van Schaik of the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Konstanz, Germany, and colleagues present their arguments in a paper publishing February 28thin the open access journal PLOS Biology.
Between different species, larger relative brain size is associated with cognitive benefits that favor survival. However, larger brains come with higher energy costs. Prior research has examined these costs for adults in order to deepen understanding of evolutionary trends in brain size between different species. However, few studies have focused on the energy costs of the developing brain of young organisms.
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