BARCELONA, Spain, July 15 (UPI) — Mammals with brains larger than expected in relation to their body size tend to have longer lives, an evolutionary advantage, Spanish researchers say.
Scientists at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona examined the relationship between brain size and lifespan, analyzing almost 500 mammal species, a university release said Thursday.
Researchers examined why nature favors the development of large brains given that they require more time to reach functional maturity and use up more energy.
One theory suggests a larger brain provides more options in behavior when facing changes in the environment, allowing species to overcome ecological challenges successfully, the release said.
In addition to providing more ways to adapt to changes and therefore improving survival, a larger brain size also improves the chances of mammals to live longer and thus have more chances to reproduce, an evolutionary advantage over shorter-lived animals, the study suggests.
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