Wednesday, March 29, 2017
facebook

google plus


Here's how primates developed larger brainsPhoto source: Thinkstock

Here's how primates developed larger brains

28 Mar 2017 | 4:54 PM

NEW YORK: A diet rich in fruits may have been responsible for larger brain size in primates, researchers say.

[ + read story ]

New York

A diet rich in fruits may have been responsible for larger brain size in primates, researchers say.

The findings revealed that primate species whose food consumption had higher amounts of fruit (frugivores) and both fruits and leaves (folivores) exhibited significantly larger brains than those who consumed only leaves.

An addition of animal protein (omnivores) also showed significantly larger brains than in those who consumed only leaves.

"Fruit is patchier in space and time in the environment, and the consumption of it often involves extraction from difficult-to-reach-places or protective skins," said lead author Alex DeCasien, doctoral student at New York University in the US.

 "Together, these factors may lead to the need for relatively greater cognitive complexity and flexibility in frugivorous species," DeCasien added.

The study, which appears in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, counters the prevailing theory of social brain hypothesis which says social pressures and the need to think about and track social relationships was the primary driver of primate cognitive complexity and ultimately led to the evolution of the large human brain.

"Complex foraging strategies, social structures, and cognitive abilities are likely to have co-evolved throughout primate evolution," said DeCasien.

"However, if the question is which factor, diet or sociality, is more important when it comes to determining the brain size of primate species, then our new examination suggests that the factor is diet." In the study, the team examined more than 140 primate species and took into account food consumption — leaves, fruit and addition of animal protein — as well as several measures of sociality, such as group size, social system and mating system.

Their results showed that brain size is predicted by diet rather than by the various measures of sociality.  — IANS

Earth-like planetary waves discovered on Sun

Earth-like planetary waves discovered on Sun

28 Mar 2017 | 8:44 PM

WASHINGTON: Large-scale planetary waves that meander through the atmosphere high above Earth's surface have been found to also exist on the Sun, scientists say.

Beating human heart tissue grown on spinach leaves

Beating human heart tissue grown on spinach leaves

28 Mar 2017 | 7:49 PM

BOSTON: Scientists have successfully cultured beating human heart cells on spinach leaves, solving the long-standing problem of delivering blood into artificially developed tissues.

Sands of Saturn's moon Titan are electrically charged

Sands of Saturn's moon Titan are electrically charged

28 Mar 2017 | 5:41 PM

WASHINGTON: Particles that cover the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, are "electrically charged" and can cling together for months, scientists have found for the first time.

NASA to use mixed reality space station to train astronauts

NASA to use mixed reality space station to train astronauts

27 Mar 2017 | 8:41 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA is creating a new mixed reality International Space Station (ISS) simulator that will help train astronauts for their journey to the orbiting lab.

Chewing like cows helped early mammals survive mass extinction

Chewing like cows helped early mammals survive mass extinction

27 Mar 2017 | 5:36 PM

WASHINGTON:Mammal teeth, jaw bones and muscles evolved to produce cow-like chewing motions, allowing our earliest ancestors eat a more diversified diet, which helped them survive the mass extinction nearly 66 million years ago, a new study has found.

Impact crater linked to ancient Martian tsunamis identified

Impact crater linked to ancient Martian tsunamis identified

26 Mar 2017 | 4:04 PM

HOUSTON: Scientists have identified a crater on Mars, possibly created by an asteroid that triggered 150 metre-high tsunami waves when it plunged into an ocean on the red planet three billion years ago.

NASA mission to study cosmic material between stars

NASA mission to study cosmic material between stars

26 Mar 2017 | 3:50 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA has announced plans to launch a balloon-borne observatory to study the emissions from the cosmic material found between stars, known as the interstellar medium.

Prehistoric evidence of human cannibalism discovered

Prehistoric evidence of human cannibalism discovered

26 Mar 2017 | 3:22 PM

LONDON: Scientists have discovered the oldest evidence of human cannibalism in the western European Mediterranean region, by analysing 10,000-year-old bones with scratch and bite marks on them.

Facebook to begin testing GIF button for comments

Facebook to begin testing GIF button for comments

25 Mar 2017 | 8:55 PM

NEW YORK: Social media giant Facebook will begin testing a GIF button that will allow users post GIFs from services like Giphy and Tenor as comments.

Record breaking brown dwarf identified

Record breaking brown dwarf identified

25 Mar 2017 | 8:56 PM

LONDON: Astronomers have identified a record breaking brown dwarf — a star too small for nuclear fusion — with the 'purest' composition and the highest mass yet known, located 750 light years away.

Google introduces shortcuts to its Search

Google introduces shortcuts to its Search

24 Mar 2017 | 3:02 PM

NEW YORK: Tech giant Google has introduced shortcuts on the Google Search app for Android, iOS and Google.com on the mobile web that gives users the ability to explore deeper within topics they care about.

Oppo F3 Plus smartphone: Brave front camera

Oppo F3 Plus smartphone: Brave front camera

24 Mar 2017 | 1:44 PM

NEW DELHI: China-based Oppo has done well in India, capturing 8.6 per cent market share in 2016, and the company has progressively shifted its strategy towards the premium end of devices.

Video shows rapid deterioration of Great Barrier Reef

Video shows rapid deterioration of Great Barrier Reef

24 Mar 2017 | 1:00 PM

SYDNEY: Environmental organisation Greenpeace on Friday released a video showing the "silent and high-speed destruction" of the Great Barrier Reef, caused by coral bleaching that has occurred for two years in a row.

Sea ice extent dips to record lows at both poles: NASA

Sea ice extent dips to record lows at both poles: NASA

23 Mar 2017 | 9:20 PM

WASHINGTON: Sea ice extent at the Arctic and around Antarctica hit a record low earlier this month, according to NASA scientists.

Breaks detected in NASA's Mars rover wheels

Breaks detected in NASA's Mars rover wheels

23 Mar 2017 | 9:17 PM

WASHINGTON: NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has developed small breaks in its aluminum wheels, say scientists who have detected the latest signs of wear and tear as the robotic probe continues its journey across the red planet.

'Technophobes' more likely to fear losing jobs: Study

'Technophobes' more likely to fear losing jobs: Study

23 Mar 2017 | 9:13 PM

HOUSTON: 'Technophobes' —people who fear robots, artificial intelligence and new technology — are much more likely to be afraid of losing their jobs and suffer anxiety-related mental health issues, a new study suggests.

4G contributed 60% of incremental data traffic in 2016

4G contributed 60% of incremental data traffic in 2016

23 Mar 2017 | 8:27 PM

NEW DELHI:High-speed mobile broadband technology 4G drove data traffic across India in 2016, making up 60 per cent of incremental data volumes, according to a Nokia study.

Google Maps already tracks you; now other people can, too

Google Maps already tracks you; now other people can, too

22 Mar 2017 | 10:57 PM

SAN FRANCISCO:Google Maps users will soon be able to broadcast their movements to friends and family the latest test of how much privacy people are willing to sacrifice in an era of rampant sharing.

600 mn kids to face extreme water shortage by 2040World Water Day

600 mn kids to face extreme water shortage by 2040

22 Mar 2017 | 2:46 PM

UNITED NATIONS: Nearly 600 million children, one in four worldwide, will live in areas with extremely limited water resources by 2040, according to a UN report.

Apple to sell special edition of iPhone 7 in India from April

Apple to sell special edition of iPhone 7 in India from April

21 Mar 2017 | 9:52 PM

NEW DELHI: US-based tech major Apple will from April start selling in India its special 'RED' edition of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, symbolising the fight against AIDS.

LIFE+STYLE
  • In support of the Girl

    In support of the Girl

    The tragic story of The Danish Girl received seven nominations at the 20th Satellite Awards and of course umpteen other prestigious awards, including Academy Award for Best Actress in a supporting role for Alicia Vikander.

  • Star Track
  • Dabangg Noor

    Dabangg Noor

    Sonakshi Sinha is all set to enthral the audiences with her performance in the upcoming movie Noor. Directed by Sunhil Sippy, Noor is based on Pakistani author Saba Imtiaz’s novel Karachi, You’re Killing Me!

  • SpectrumSingle child, multiple issues

    Single child, multiple issues

    A game of street cricket breaks out into a fight; something every kid in the game knew was bound to happen sooner or later for they were playing with Rahul. The kids refuse every time he wants to play with them.

  • Panjab University: Journey and evolution

    The University of Punjab at Lahore was set up on October 14, 1882. It was the fourth university of India although it was the first university that expanded its scope from being an examining university to teaching and examining both.

more Spectrum...

YOUR WORLD AND YOU