Navigation Links
Humans Weren't Always 'So Special,' Expert Says

Finding suggests that brain took millions of years to evolve

THURSDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A 54-million-year-old skull has yielded the first detailed images of a primitive primate brain.

The 1.5-inch-long skull was from an animal species called Ignacius graybullianus, part of a group of primates known as plesiadapiforms. They evolved in the 10 million years after dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth.

Researchers used CT scans to take more than 1,200 cross-sectional images of the skull and combined them into a three-dimensional model of the brain.

"Most explanations on the evolution of primate brains are based on data from living primates," Mary Silcox, an anthropologist at the University of Winnipeg in Canada and a research associate at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, said in a school news release.

"There have been all these inferences about what the brains of the earliest primates would look like, and it turns out that most of those inferences are wrong," she said.

Ignacius graybullianus was similar to modern primates in terms of diet and tree-dwelling, the researchers report, but its brain was one-half to two-thirds the size of the brain of the smallest modern primates. This suggests that fruit-eating and tree-dwelling, for instance, weren't factors in the evolution of larger brain sizes in primates because "the smaller-brained Ignacius was already doing those things," said Silcox, lead author of a report on the findings, which were published in this week's online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Co-author Jonathan Bloch, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said that "a large and complex brain has long been regarded as one of the major steps that sets primates apart from the rest of mammals."

But at humans' "very humble beginnings, we weren't so special," he said. "That happened over tens of millions of years."

More information

Your Amazing Brain has more about human brain evolution.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Florida, news release, June 22, 2009

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Investigational Agent Targeting Metabotropic Glutamate 2/3 Receptors Demonstrates Antipsychotic Activity in Humans, Study in Nature Medicine Finds
2. Toddler Study Proves Humans Outsmart Apes
3. ABC TV San Francisco Features Canine Cancer Research Story: Saving Our Dogs, Helping Humans Beat Cancer - Work at Morris Animal Foundation, UC-Davis
4. FDA approves knee-injury device for humans
5. Grape Consumption Improves Antioxidant Capacity in Humans
6. Cross-species transplant in rhesus macaques is step toward diabetes cure for humans
7. Not just humans benefit from animal biotechnology
8. Modest gain in visceral fat causes dysfunction of blood vessel lining in lean, healthy humans
9. CDC Reports Prevalence of Worms Transmitted by Dogs and Cats to Humans is Higher Than Previously Understood
10. Chimps Top Humans in Number Recall
11. Menopause May Be Unique to Humans
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Humans Weren't Always 'So Special,' Expert Says
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop ... The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida ... their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers ... as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, ... their offering. Surgical ... business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in a ... an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biotechnology industry might still be ... opportunities to investors. assesses the recent performances of ... XON ), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN ... complimentary trade alerts at: ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Leading BioSciences Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical ... from a breakdown of the mucosal barrier, today ... as chief executive officer. Mr. Doyle, a ... and board of directors, previously served as chief ... provide continued leadership and strategic direction to the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: