Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Large Brains, Small Guts: The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis Supported within Anurans
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Number of Authors: 4
2016 (English)In: American Naturalist, ISSN 0003-0147, E-ISSN 1537-5323, Vol. 188, no 6, 693-700 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brain size differs substantially among species, and several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of brain size. Because the brain is among the most energetically expensive organs in the vertebrate body, trade-offs have been hypothesized to exert constraints on brain size evolution. Prominently, the expensive tissue hypothesis (ETH) proposes that reducing the size of another expensive organ, such as the gut, should compensate for the cost of a large brain. But energetic constraints may also drive covariation between the brain and other costly traitssuch as body maintenance, locomotion, or reproductionas formulated in the energy trade-off hypothesis. To date, these hypotheses have mainly been tested in homeothermic animals and within the ectothermic animals, primarily in fishes. Here, we undertake a comparative test of the interplay between energetic limitations and brain size evolution within amphibians. After controlling for phylogenetic relationships and body size, we find a negative correlation between brain mass and the length of the digestive tract within 30 species of anurans. We further find that the evolution of large brain size is accompanied by an increase in female reproductive investment into egg size. Our results suggest that the evolution of brain size follows general patterns across vertebrate clades.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 188, no 6, 693-700 p.
Keyword [en]
anurans, brain size evolution, expensive tissue hypothesis, trade-off, phylogenetic comparative methods
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137588DOI: 10.1086/688894ISI: 000388683800010PubMedID: 27860511OAI: diva2:1063182
Available from: 2017-01-09 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2017-01-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Kotrschal, Alexander
By organisation
Department of Zoology
In the same journal
American Naturalist
Biological Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 2 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link