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Dietary quality and encephalization in platyrrhine primates.

dc.contributor.author Allen, KL
dc.contributor.author Kay, Richard Frederick
dc.coverage.spatial England
dc.date.accessioned 2015-10-28T14:35:00Z
dc.date.issued 2012-02-22
dc.identifier http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21831898
dc.identifier rspb.2011.1311
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/10793
dc.description.abstract The high energetic costs of building and maintaining large brains are thought to constrain encephalization. The 'expensive-tissue hypothesis' (ETH) proposes that primates (especially humans) overcame this constraint through reduction of another metabolically expensive tissue, the gastrointestinal tract. Small guts characterize animals specializing on easily digestible diets. Thus, the hypothesis may be tested via the relationship between brain size and diet quality. Platyrrhine primates present an interesting test case, as they are more variably encephalized than other extant primate clades (excluding Hominoidea). We find a high degree of phylogenetic signal in the data for diet quality, endocranial volume and body size. Controlling for phylogenetic effects, we find no significant correlation between relative diet quality and relative endocranial volume. Thus, diet quality fails to account for differences in platyrrhine encephalization. One taxon, in particular, Brachyteles, violates predictions made by ETH in having a large brain and low-quality diet. Dietary reconstructions of stem platyrrhines further indicate that a relatively high-quality diet was probably in place prior to increases in encephalization. Therefore, it is unlikely that a shift in diet quality was a primary constraint release for encephalization in platyrrhines and, by extrapolation, humans.
dc.language eng
dc.relation.ispartof Proc Biol Sci
dc.relation.isversionof 10.1098/rspb.2011.1311
dc.subject Animals
dc.subject Biological Evolution
dc.subject Body Size
dc.subject Brain
dc.subject Diet
dc.subject Humans
dc.subject Organ Size
dc.subject Phylogeny
dc.subject Platyrrhini
dc.title Dietary quality and encephalization in platyrrhine primates.
dc.type Journal article
pubs.author-url http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21831898
pubs.begin-page 715
pubs.end-page 721
pubs.issue 1729
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Earth and Ocean Sciences
pubs.organisational-group Evolutionary Anthropology
pubs.organisational-group Nicholas School of the Environment
pubs.organisational-group Staff
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.publication-status Published
pubs.volume 279
dc.identifier.eissn 1471-2954


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