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      On the Evolutionary Significance of Encephalization in Some Eutherian Mammals: Effects of Adaptive Radiation, Domestication, and Feralization

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          Abstract

          Allometries of the brain to body size relationship in eutherian mammals are examined in this study as they can be used for comparative analyses concerning encephalization. In contrast with some modern presentations of this issue, an older concept is revived and expanded through this author’s current study. Three allometries with clearly different slopes are valid and lead to reliable results: interspecific, intraspecific, and ontogenetic allometries. Interspecific allometries follow lines with slope values of 0.56 or 0.63 for larger and smaller species, respectively, and characterize different average encephalization plateaus with rodents and lagomorphs generally more strongly encephalized compared to basal insectivores. Artiodactyls, perissodactyls and carnivores as a whole are again on a higher but rather similar plateau. Several species of carnivores have reached different encephalization levels with respect to their average plateau indicating diverse radiations. A phylogenetic brain size increase from fossil to recent radiations is also evident. Intraspecific allometries have slope values of about 0.25. These are of help in comparing brain sizes of ancestral species with their domesticated relatives. Domestication has generally led to a brain size decrease, but species on higher encephalization plateaus show this trend more strongly than species on a lower level of encephalization. Several brain parts and the sense organs also decrease in size during the domestication process, but vary arbitrarily and to different degrees. Ontogenetic growth allometries are species-specific, but are especially different between altricial and precocial mammals. A very steep 1st phase slope of highly encephalized species is particularly useful for understanding evolutionary and adaptive phenomena. Domesticated mammals that have become feral do not show an increase in brain size despite living many generations in wild habitats.

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          The domestication of social cognition in dogs.

          Dogs are more skillful than great apes at a number of tasks in which they must read human communicative signals indicating the location of hidden food. In this study, we found that wolves who were raised by humans do not show these same skills, whereas domestic dog puppies only a few weeks old, even those that have had little human contact, do show these skills. These findings suggest that during the process of domestication, dogs have been selected for a set of social-cognitive abilities that enable them to communicate with humans in unique ways.
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            New and Revised Data on Volumes of Brain Structures in Insectivores and Primates

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              A Simple Reason for a Big Difference

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BBE
                Brain Behav Evol
                10.1159/issn.0006-8977
                Brain, Behavior and Evolution
                S. Karger AG
                0006-8977
                1421-9743
                2005
                January 2005
                21 January 2005
                : 65
                : 2
                : 73-108
                Affiliations
                Institut für Haustierkunde, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany
                Article
                82979 Brain Behav Evol 2005;65:73–108
                10.1159/000082979
                15627722
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 18, Tables: 2, References: 193, Pages: 36
                Categories
                Review Paper

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