How did elephants evolve such a large brain? Climate change is part of the answer.

A team of scientists have discovered why the elephants brain evolved into the largest of any animal ⎮ 1 min read

Jul 27, 2019
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Elephants attract awe and fascination globally. The intelligence of elephants is notable, especially the protective and gentle behaviour they express toward family members within the herd, a characteristic not lost on researchers. An international collaboration of scientists investigated why the elephants brain has evolved into the largest of any extant living animal on Earth. The team reconstructed the brain of species found in the fossil record dating from 26 million years ago right up to modern day elephant species. The scientists applied neuro scanning techniques and statistical analysis to reconstruct the evolution of the elephants brain. The findings were reported in the article: Brain Evolution in Proboscidea (Mammal Afrotheria) across the Cenozoic by the Journal, Scientific Reports, in 2019. Julien Benoit (Vertebrate Paleontologist) and Paul Manger (Evolutionary Neurobiologist) based at the University of Witwatersrand were part of the research team who reported climate change played an important role in the evolution of the elephants brain. Learn more about this fascinating discovery in their story: How did elephants evolve such a large brain? Climate change is part of the answer published by The Conversation.

Gabrielle Ahern

Community Editor, npj Science of Learning Community

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