HomePLANTS & ANIMALSECOLOGYBrain size found to have decreased in domesticated cats

Brain size found to have decreased in domesticated cats

A group of researchers from the University of Vienna and National Museums Scotland, has determined that the brain length of domestic cats is smaller than their African ancestors. In their paper posted in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the organization describes how they measured and compared cranial ability in more than one type of cats and what they found while doing so.

Prior research has proven that domestication of animals by humans normally ends in a decrease in brain size. To date, this has been visible in puppies, sheep and rabbits. In this new attempt, the researchers wondered if this can happen to residence cats, which first have become domesticated about 10,000 years in the past.

The researchers stated that a whole lot of research have done on the brain size reduction in domesticated animals has emerged as old. In some instances, has been primarily based on misguided representations of a given animal’s ancestry. Because of this, they selected to begin from scratch. The study concerned measuring the cranial potential of a massive range of domesticated cats to arrive at an average size.

They then did the same with wild African cats that have been shown to be the ancestors of current housecats. They observed that the brains of domesticated cats are smaller than their forebears. To display the decrease of brain size depended on domestication. The researchers additionally measured the cranial capacity of a massive variety of European wildcats and a massive number of hybrids. The brain size of such cats is in between that of domesticated housecats and wild African cats.

Palate length and cranial volume of Felis cat species
Palate length and cranial volume of Felis cat species. Domestic cats are represented by orange dots, F. catus × F. silvestris hybrids by olive squares, F. lybica by purple diamonds and F. silvestris by blue triangles. (a) Palate length of all four groups in mm over basal skull length in mm (our data). (b) Cranial volume in cm3 of all four groups over basal skull length in mm (our data). (c) Cranial volume data of F. catus and F. silvestris cats in cm3 over the total skull length from [2]. (d) Cube root of cranial volume data for all four groups in cm from [1]. (e) Cube root of cranial volume data for F. catus, F. lybica and F. silvestris cats in cm from [1].

Prior research has counselled that the reason brain length decreases in domesticated animals is due to the decrease in neural crest cells. The brain cells which might be concerned in processing and responding to threats.

Domesticated animals, face far fewer threats than do those in the wild. The researchers additionally measured palate size in all the cats they studied but found no principal variations among the companies.

Prior studies have cautioned that as cats have become domesticated and, in the end, confronted fewer threats, their snouts must have grown shorter. But that doesn’t seem like the case.


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