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Large-brained frogs mature later and live longer
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Number of Authors: 62018 (English)In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 72, no 5, p. 1174-1183Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brain sizes vary substantially across vertebrate taxa, yet, the evolution of brain size appears tightly linked to the evolution of life histories. For example, larger brained species generally live longer than smaller brained species. A larger brain requires more time to grow and develop at a cost of exceeded gestation period and delayed weaning age. The cost of slower development may be compensated by better homeostasis control and increased cognitive abilities, both of which should increase survival probabilities and hence life span. To date, this relationship between life span and brain size seems well established in homoeothermic animals, especially in mammals. Whether this pattern occurs also in other clades of vertebrates remains enigmatic. Here, we undertake the first comparative test of the relationship between life span and brain size in an ectothermic vertebrate group, the anuran amphibians. After controlling for the effects of shared ancestry and body size, we find a positive correlation between brain size, age at sexual maturation, and life span across 40 species of frogs. Moreover, we also find that the ventral brain regions, including the olfactory bulbs, are larger in long-lived species. Our results indicate that the relationship between life history and brain evolution follows a general pattern across vertebrate clades.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 72, no 5, p. 1174-1183
Keywords [en]
Anurans, brain size, cognitive buffer hypothesis, developmental costs hypothesis, longevity
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156605DOI: 10.1111/evo.13478ISI: 000431989400013PubMedID: 29611630OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-156605DiVA, id: diva2:1211004
Available from: 2018-05-30 Created: 2018-05-30 Last updated: 2018-05-30Bibliographically approved

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Kotrschal, Alexander
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