Research | More Social Animals Have Evolved Bigger Brains

GreenTracker| Researchers at Oxford University have analyzed the evolution of animal brains in over 500 species of mammals over 60 million years. It found that the brains of monkeys grew the most, followed by horses, dolphins, camels and dogs.

The research suggests a link between the sociality of mammals and the size of their brains relative to body size, according the the study published in the PNAS journal.

It was widely believed that the growth rate of the brain relative to body size followed a general trend across all groups of mammals. However, this study by Dr Susanne Shultz and Professor Robin Dunbar, from Oxford University’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology (ICEA), overturns this view. They find that there is wide variation in patterns of brain growth across different groups of mammals and they have discovered that not all mammal groups have larger brains, suggesting that social animals needed to think more. via Science Daily

Cat lovers won’t be thrilled with these conclusions. Now don’t be mad and shoot the messenger.