From Sarah Knapton at Telegraph:
Scientists have discovered a link between the amount of fruit eaten by primates and the size of their brains.
The researchers suggest that the bigger brains probably evolved to recall fruit locations, and work out new ways to extract flesh from tough skins. Fruits also contain for more energy than plants, giving brains a boost.
“Fruit is patchier in space and time in the environment, and the consumption of it often involves extraction from difficult-to-reach-places or protective skins,” said doctoral student Alex DeCasien, the lead author.
“Together, these factors may lead to the need for relatively greater cognitive complexity and flexibility in fruit eating species.
“Complex foraging strategies, social structures, and cognitive abilities, are likely to have co-evolved throughout primate evolution.” More.
Now we only need to figure out why vast numbers of other fruit eaters did not develop bigger brains.
The Nature Ecology and Evolution paper is free for download.
See also a variety of other theories:
Climate change made us smart
Retroviruses play a role in development of human brain?
Tooth size not linked to brain size in early humans
Large human brain size easily explained?
Repurposed mammal bone gene fuels cognition in humans?
Human origins: The war of trivial explanations
The Science Fictions series at your fingertips: Human evolution
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Hat tip: Pos-Darwinista