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The effect of brain size evolution on feeding propensity, digestive efficiency, and juvenile growth
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.
Number of Authors: 4
2015 (English)In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 69, no 11, 3013-3020 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One key hypothesis in the study of brain size evolution is the expensive tissue hypothesis; the idea that increased investment into the brain should be compensated by decreased investment into other costly organs, for instance the gut. Although the hypothesis is supported by both comparative and experimental evidence, little is known about the potential changes in energetic requirements or digestive traits following such evolutionary shifts in brain and gut size. Organisms may meet the greater metabolic requirements of larger brains despite smaller guts via increased food intake or better digestion. But increased investment in the brain may also hamper somatic growth. To test these hypotheses we here used guppy (Poecilia reticulata) brain size selection lines with a pronounced negative association between brain and gut size and investigated feeding propensity, digestive efficiency (DE), and juvenile growth rate. We did not find any difference in feeding propensity or DE between large-and small-brained individuals. Instead, we found that large-brained females had slower growth during the first 10 weeks after birth. Our study provides experimental support that investment into larger brains at the expense of gut tissue carries costs that are not necessarily compensated by a more efficient digestive system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 69, no 11, 3013-3020 p.
Keyword [en]
Behavior, development, artificial selection, trade-offs
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126853DOI: 10.1111/evo.12784ISI: 000368248800020PubMedID: 26420573OAI: diva2:906326
Available from: 2016-02-24 Created: 2016-02-16 Last updated: 2016-02-24Bibliographically approved

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Kotrschal, AlexanderCorral-Lopez, AlbertoKolm, Niclas
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