5. Why Gorillas have a large brain


So here’s the answer to the central question…

Big brains are related to strong social bonds, high levels of intelligence, intense parenting, long periods of learning, and ability to deal with volatile environments. Exactly which one was the initial force driving the human brain expansion is unknown. In comparison to the great apes, early hominids lived in more open and dry areas, which made it difficult to escape from predators and find water. Thus, the brain size expansion may be related to the ability to cope with volatile environments, as some people believe. But, there is no definite answer yet.

Evolutionary biologist Jianzhi Zhang, The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Detail from his study in the journal Genetics, December 2003

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