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Comparative Study of Brain Size Ontogeny: Marsupials and Placental Mammals


De Miguel, Carmen; Saniotis, Arthur; Cieślik, Agata; Henneberg, Maciej (2022). Comparative Study of Brain Size Ontogeny: Marsupials and Placental Mammals. Biology, 11(6):900.

Abstract

Simple Summary
This study examined brain/body ontogenetic growth in marsupials and compared it with placental mammals. While marsupials display morphology and cerebral organization diverse from placentals, their neocortical arrangement and cellular composition is unclear. Unfortunately, knowledge of marsupial ontogenetic brain/body size allometry is limited. Since marsupial brain structure and volume differ when compared with those of placentals, marsupials are considered to possess simple behavioural patterns. This is misleading, since even at a basic observation, Australian marsupials display many of the same mental capacities as other mammals. Consequently, the study findings support further investigation into the intellectual abilities of marsupials.
Abstract
There exists a negative allometry between vertebrate brain size and body size. It has been well studied among placental mammals but less is known regarding marsupials. Consequently, this study explores brain/body ontogenetic growth in marsupials and compares it with placental mammals. Pouch young samples of 43 koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), 28 possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), and 36 tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) preserved in a solution of 10% buffered formalin, as well as fresh juveniles and adults of 43 koalas and 40 possums, were studied. Their brain size/body size allometry was compared to that among humans, rhesus monkeys, dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, wild pigs, and mice. Two patterns of allometric curves were found: a logarithmic one (marsupials, rabbits, wild pigs, and guinea pigs) and a logistic one (the rest of mammals).
Keywords:
brain/body allometry; ontogenesis; brain variability; neuronal units; logarithmic/logistic curves

Abstract

Simple Summary
This study examined brain/body ontogenetic growth in marsupials and compared it with placental mammals. While marsupials display morphology and cerebral organization diverse from placentals, their neocortical arrangement and cellular composition is unclear. Unfortunately, knowledge of marsupial ontogenetic brain/body size allometry is limited. Since marsupial brain structure and volume differ when compared with those of placentals, marsupials are considered to possess simple behavioural patterns. This is misleading, since even at a basic observation, Australian marsupials display many of the same mental capacities as other mammals. Consequently, the study findings support further investigation into the intellectual abilities of marsupials.
Abstract
There exists a negative allometry between vertebrate brain size and body size. It has been well studied among placental mammals but less is known regarding marsupials. Consequently, this study explores brain/body ontogenetic growth in marsupials and compares it with placental mammals. Pouch young samples of 43 koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), 28 possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), and 36 tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) preserved in a solution of 10% buffered formalin, as well as fresh juveniles and adults of 43 koalas and 40 possums, were studied. Their brain size/body size allometry was compared to that among humans, rhesus monkeys, dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, wild pigs, and mice. Two patterns of allometric curves were found: a logarithmic one (marsupials, rabbits, wild pigs, and guinea pigs) and a logistic one (the rest of mammals).
Keywords:
brain/body allometry; ontogenesis; brain variability; neuronal units; logarithmic/logistic curves

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Immunology and Microbiology, General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Language:English
Date:10 June 2022
Deposited On:09 Jan 2023 09:56
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2079-7737
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060900
PubMed ID:35741421
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)