With some science stories, the incidentals feel like the main point…Some researchers hope they have pinpointed the origin of parenting in the amphibian brain:
Fischer and her colleagues looked at neural activity in three poison dart frog species with different parenting strategies: Dendrobates tinctorius, among whom the males take care of the young; Oophaga sylvatica, whose females do the parenting; and Ranitomeya imitator, whose offspring are cared for by a monogamous male and female pair.Carolyn Wilke, “A frog study may point to where parenting begins in the brain” at Science News
The researchers killed and sliced up the brains of 25 caregiving frogs while they were giving care and of 59 non-care giving frogs:
In all three species, a brain region called the preoptic area was lit up with activity in caregiving frogs, but not in those of non-caregiving animals. The preoptic area is linked to parental behavior across vertebrates, including mammals.Carolyn Wilke, “A frog study may point to where parenting begins in the brain” at Science News
They didn’t find anything like a “parenting switch” that applied across frog and mouse species, they noted. But parenting behavior, however caused, may be very much older that we used to think (the rise of amphibians about 360 million years ago?). And yet many later life forms don’t care for their offspring.
The more evolution becomes a history, the more it features puzzling complexities that can’t be resolved by a fatuous appeal to an “ism.”
See also: Newly discovered frog separated from others by 50 million years.
Researchers: Poison frog warning colors also act as camouflage
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