According to a team of anthropologists at the University of New York, who just published a study in the magazine Nature Ecology and Evolution, it was the diet the decisive factor in the increase of the brain in primates and our human ancestors, and not so much the sociability.
Diet for the brain
According to the co-author of the aforementioned work, James Higham, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New York:
Do human beings and other primates have great brains because of social pressures and the need to think and follow our social relationships, as some have argued? This has become the prevailing opinion, but our results do not support it; In fact, our research points to other factors: diet.
The study examined more than 140 species of primates (more than three times more than previous studies) and incorporated more recent evolutionary data on trees, or phylogenies. Food consumption was also taken into account among the studied species, leafy (leaf), fruit (fruit), fruit / leafy and omnivorous (addition of animal proteins), as well as various measures of sociality, such as group size, social system and mating system.
Diet became the main factor in increasing brain size. Frugivores and frugivores / folivores exhibit significantly larger brains than folivores and, to a lesser extent, omnivores show brains significantly larger than folivores
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