It may be impossible to evolve a large brain if you hibernate | Innovation

A fat-tailed dwarf lemur peeks out from a tree hole

A fat-tailed dwarf lemur peeks out from a tree hole

Frans Lanting Studio / Alamy

Mammals that for part of the year tend to have smaller brains than those that can feed all year round.

The finding may help explain why big-brained primates like us mostly evolved near the equator. It may be that our species arose in Africa, rather than neighbouring Europe, because Africa lies on the equator and much of it has only weak seasons.

Sandra Heldstab of the University of Zurich, Switzerland and her colleagues compiled on 1104 mammalian species. They …

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