A claim in search of evidence: Reply to Manger's thermogenesis hypothesis of cetacean brain structure

Lori Marino, Camilla Butti, Richard C. Connor, R. Ewan Fordyce, Louis M. Herman, Patrick R. Hof, Louis Lefebvre, David Lusseau, Brenda Mccowan, Esther A. Nimchinsky, Adam A. Pack, Joy S. Reidenberg, Diana Reiss, Luke Rendell, Mark D. Uhen, Estelle Van Der Gucht, Hal Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a recent publication in Biological Reviews, Manger (2006) made the controversial claim that the large brains of cetaceans evolved to generate heat during oceanic cooling in the Oligocene epoch and not, as is the currently accepted view, as a basis for an increase in cognitive or information-processing capabilities in response to ecological or social pressures. Manger further argued that dolphins and other cetaceans are considerably less intelligent than generally thought. In this review we challenge Manger's arguments and provide abundant evidence that modern cetacean brains are large in order to support complex cognitive abilities driven by social and ecological forces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-440
Number of pages24
JournalBiological Reviews
Volume83
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Brain
  • Brain size
  • Cetacean
  • Cognition
  • Dolphin
  • Encephalisation
  • Intelligence
  • Marine mammals
  • Temperature
  • Thermogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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    Marino, L., Butti, C., Connor, R. C., Fordyce, R. E., Herman, L. M., Hof, P. R., Lefebvre, L., Lusseau, D., Mccowan, B., Nimchinsky, E. A., Pack, A. A., Reidenberg, J. S., Reiss, D., Rendell, L., Uhen, M. D., Van Der Gucht, E., & Whitehead, H. (2008). A claim in search of evidence: Reply to Manger's thermogenesis hypothesis of cetacean brain structure. Biological Reviews, 83(4), 417-440. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-185X.2008.00049.x