Humans and apes have mothers to thank for their large brains

London, Sept 7 (ANI): Humans, apes and monkeys should thank their mothers for their large brains, says a new study.

Vera Weisbecker of the University of Cambridge and Anjali Goswami of University College London looked at the brains of 197 marsupials and 457 placental mammals, and could find a link between metabolic rate and brain size only in placental mammals.

This means that parental strategies play an important role in the growing up process.

"Placental babies are connected to their mothers via the placenta for a long time," New Scientist quoted Weisbecker as saying.

"So if she has a high metabolic rate, the baby is more likely to benefit," she added.

On the other hand, marsupials are born while really small, and then spend a long time feeding off their mothers' milk, leading to slower brain development.

Placentas offer a continuous supply of rich nutrients.

Additionally, when it came to primates, the size of the brain seemed to directly increase from a double maternal boost. They are supplied with large amounts of energy by their mothers during gestation, and then receive additional months or even years of care after birth. (ANI)

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