Post-Dinosaur World: Prehistoric Mammals Use Muscles First Before Their Brains to Survive

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Prehistoric mammals prioritized bulking up their bodies instead of using their brain in order to survive, according to new research.

This has been the case in a post-dinosaur world within 10 million years after an asteroid strike apparently ended the reign of the colossal predators.

Brawn Before Brains

Forest

(Photo : MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images)

It seems that intelligence must not necessarily come first before physical prowess, especially in a world where the animal kingdom and global climate are adjusting in the aftermath of a planet-extinction event.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have discovered this notion.

Their study has been published in the journal Science on Thursday, March 31, the scientists found that prehistoric mammals exercised brawn before brains strategies to boost their chances of survival-whether it is from other predators or natural phenomena.

The scientists in Scotland suggested that mammals’ brains decreased in size since their bodies grew at a faster rate.

Despite the disproportioned brain-body mass, the animals still relied on their sense of smell, while their sight and other senses are still less developed at that time.

These findings were based on the newly discovered fossils from the 10-million-year-period post-dinosaur world called the Paleocene, as per Phys.org.

Also Read: Early Mammals Rapidly Diversified After Dinosaur Extinction

Mammalian Brain Development

In a separate study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior in 2018, scientists emphasized that growth duration, brain size, and longevity are important factors when it comes to mammalian brain development.

The study also emphasized that the continuous process of neural development is a key factor in brain size.

Accompanied by evolutionary changes, the study put forward that social ecology was also important in mammalian brain development.

The scientists claimed that mammals, including humans, were only able to achieve such brain development through a so-called socio-biological through our “grandmothering” life history.

Grandmothering Hypothesis

According to the grandmothering hypothesis, putting infants into a unique social ecology contributes to early neural development.

In relation to mammalian brain development, the scientists are likely pointing out that the adult brain size of mammals is a byproduct of this early exposure.

Furthermore, the grandmothering hypothesis suggested that mammal grandmothers in the animal kingdom have greatly contributed to the evolution and the continuance of a species.

For instance, these “caretakers” nurtured the physical and social needs of baby mammals, while the father is away hunting.

The onset of evolution, under the theory, suggested the substitution of the so-called caretaker grandmothers also provided mother mammals to have more children.

Regardless of the theory, scientists are still clueless about how the prehistoric mammals during the post-dinosaur world initially developed their brains.

Extinction Event

The leading extinction theory that wiped out the dinosaurs was due to the massive impact of the Chicxulub asteroid 65 million years ago.

According to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), the extinction event blocked sunlight, changed the global environment, and led to global wildfires.

Although the extinction event killed almost all animal and plant life on Earth, leading to the post-dinosaur world were some living organisms, including mammals, have survived.

It would take tens of millions of years again before certain mammals will hone both their muscles and brains, the Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens.

Related Article: Prehistoric Evidence Shows Mammals Evolved Rapidly When Dinosaurs Went Extinct


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