Domestic Animal Closer to Humans Have Smaller brains

Domestic Animal Closer to Humans Have Smaller brains

The cattle, which are the largest domesticated animal, have a smaller brain and its brain gets smaller the more time they are with human beings. It is a fact that all domestic animals have smaller brains than their wild counterparts.

Meanwhile, the study by scientists at the University of Zurich Switzerland, said that bullfighting cattle, which are bred for fighting and aggressive temperament, have much larger brains than dairy breeds. To estimate the brain size of wild cattle, Ana Balcarcel and her colleagues measured 13 skulls from the extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius), the probable ancestor of modern cattle. They compared these to 317 skulls from 71 breeds of domestic cattle (Bos taurus).

In the study, the researchers mainly focussed on intensity of human contact in brain size of domestic animal. Cattle are the most widely domesticated animals and globally one of the most populous and widespread livestock. However, they have not been studied in detail for brain size change.

The study also points out that that domestic animal that are much close to humans, mainly used for consumption or companionship, display the greatest amount of reduction of brains. These include pigs (about 34 per cent), sheep (about 24 per cent), dogs (about 29 per cent) and cats (about 24 per cent).

On the research, Balcarcel said that her team was surprised to find differences when compared not just the wild versus domestic, but also all the different breeds within the domestic populations. The differences correlate much with the amount of time the domestic animals spend with humans.



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