Advertising Console

    Human Behavior Affecting Wild Animals' Brain Size

    Repost
    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    3.3K
    220 views
    According to research from the University of Minnesota, human behavior might be leading to the evolution of larger brains in animals.

    According to research from the University of Minnesota, human behavior might be leading to the evolution of larger brains in animals.

    By measuring the dimensions of multiple skulls of 10 different mammalian species from the past century, the researchers were able to compare how brain size has changed over time.

    Two species of animals that were part of the study showed that skulls found in urban areas had brains that were around 6 percent larger than skull samples of the same species from a rural place.

    Squirrels and bats that were part of the study showed the opposite result, with rural populations having slightly larger cranial capacity than those living in the city.

    The lead author of the study said: “We hypothesize that the change in the urban environment is due to cognitive adaptations to the novel challenges associated with city and suburban living…And the changes in rural environments are due to increases in the size of foraging areas of insect-feeding species due to human development, which is also selecting for greater cognition.”

    The researchers hope to test their hypothesis in the future by expanding skull collections beyond Minnesota to other developed parts of the planet.