The behaviors of 90 different species of dolphins, whales and porpoises showed that the bigger the species’ brain, the more “human-like” their lives, according to a new study.
This analysis led scientists at the London School of Economics to believe that the human “cultural brain hypothesis” — which says that our intelligence grew and developed as a result of interacting and coping within large social groups — may also apply to these whales and dolphins. In the study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the researchers found that social patterns among the ocean-dwellers, such as hunting together and developing region-specific “languages,” leads to encephalization, or brain growth.
“It is interesting to think that whale and human brains are different in their structure but have brought us to the same patterns in behavior,” biologist Luke Rendell, who was not involved with the study, told the Guardian.
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