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Slide 1

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a l ?
ol o
Evolution of
Topic 3
tic &
ntal…read more

Slide 2

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Evolutionary factors in the
development of human
· We now have a brain which is approximately
1500 cubic centimetres which is about 4 times
the size of what would be predicted from our
body size
· This is quadruple the size it was only 4 million
years ago ... why?…read more

Slide 3

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Ecological factors…read more

Slide 4

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The Role of ecological
· There are two competing ecological theories to
explain why our brain has increased in the such
a way.
· 1) Arboreal Foraging and Savannah Hunting
· 2) Tool Use During Foraging
· 3) Social Complexity Hypothesis…read more

Slide 5

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Arboreal Foraging and
Savannah Hunting
· Herbivores graze on open grass land which doesn't pose
a challenge of how to find or obtain the food and as a
result of this they typically have a small brain size
· Carnivores have to locate, capture and kill their prey
which takes more cognitive capabilities and as a result
of this they typically have a bigger brain size which can
lead them to display more behavioural responses.
· This could be a reason why most of us have carnivore
pets such as cats and dogs rather than grazing animals.…read more

Slide 6

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Arboreal Foraging and
Savannah Hunting
· Primates (us) are arboreal (tree living) and many of these are frugivorous (fruit
eating) (Leaky and Lewin 1992) which means they have to forage and find the
fruits in a 3D setting whilst also managing to learn which fruits they can and
can't eat and when they are ripe and their location. This requires memory and
information processing abilities.
· Also many primates also eat nuts and leaves and these must also be learnt
about and how to open them and extract them from potentially toxin or
prickly bushes and trees.
· Because of the cognitive processes required it is thought that this behaviour
led us to develop a bigger brain which is capable of processing more
information.…read more

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