We all know that eating vegetables and fruits is beneficial for us. A new study focused on showing the effect of a fruit diet on the brains of primates. This research suggests that primates have a bigger brain because they had a fruit diet.
In order to conduct this study, researchers analyzed the diets and the brain sizes of more than 140 species. These species included lemurs, monkeys, and apes. The researchers discovered that there is a connection between a fruit diet and bigger brains. Those species which ate more fruits had 25% more brain tissue.
To make a comparison, let’s look at howler monkeys and spider monkeys. Despite the fact that they live in groups of 10 in South America, the spider monkeys have bigger brains. This is because they have a fruit diet. These primates have the same social setting and environment but their diet differs.
This study shows that primates that eat more fruits have bigger, more developed brain than those who eat leaves. The researchers mentioned that there might be another factor involved. The primates that eat fruits also need more power to hunt. Those who eat only leaves don’t need the same power.
The fact that they need power could have been the reason for which they have a bigger brain. Despite the fact that scientists believed this, the study shows the opposite. When they studied omnivore primates they observed that they have smaller brains than those who were on a fruit diet.
Researchers mentioned that the size of the group in which these animals live might have an influence on their brain too. The more the merrier. When primates live in bigger groups they have bigger brains. This is because they have more social interactions. These help them develop better.
Previous studies have shown that larger groups of primates have bigger brains. This idea, known as social brain hypothesis, has been used by scientists in order to explain why humans have larger, more developed brains. The fact that we need to interact more helps us develop our social, emotional, and cognitive skills.
What is your opinion about this study? Did you know that a fruit diet can make the brain of primates bigger?
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