Source : Pixabay/Steppenwolf1979
Over a long period of time, scientists have speculated that the bigger brain size of primates directly relates to the “Social Brain Hypothesis that says that humans and other primates are big-brained due to factors pertaining to sociality. However a recent study by the professors of New York University indicates that the brain size might be related to diet rather than the social brain hypothesis.
In a recent publication in the Nature Ecology and Evolution, introduced the notion that primates’ brain evolution might be related to the diet as assistant professor of NYU’s Department of Anthropology has said, “Are humans and other primates big-brained because of social pressures and the need to think about and track our social relationships, as some have argued? This has come to be the prevailing view, but our findings do not support it–in fact, our research points to other factors, namely diet.”
Lead author of the study Alex DeCasien has said, “Complex foraging strategies, social structures, and cognitive abilities, are likely to have co-evolved throughout primate evolution. However, if the question is: ‘Which factor, diet or sociality, is more important when it comes to determining the brain size of primate species?’ then our new examination suggests that factor is diet.”
“Fruit is patchier in space and time in the environment, and the consumption of it often involves extraction from difficult-to-reach-places or protective skins. Together, these factors may lead to the need for relatively greater cognitive complexity and flexibility in frugivorous species.”