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3 pages/≈825 words
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Literature & Language
Article Critique
English (U.S.)
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Article Critique: Energetics and the Evolution of Human Brain Size and Cooperation and Individuality Among Man-Eating Lions (Article Critique Sample)


it is a comprehensive critique of two articles; Energetics and the evolution of human brain size and Cooperation and individuality among man-eating lions.

Course Instructor
Navarrete A, CP van Schaik, and K Isler. 2011. Energetics and the evolution of human brain size. Nature 480:91-94.
‘Evolutionary trade off’ is a situation where large sized brain is an advantage to the species. Human brain’s size is three time large of closest relative creature and hence more functional than the primates.
The expensive-tissue hypothesis explains that the amount of energy required for digestive system function correlates to the energy required by brain and brain size. Since human brains are large than that of the primates, humans have to utilize more energy than primate. The hypothesis explains that as human evolved through several processes from hominids to modern man, there were several changes that occurred that changed the size of the digestive system such as eating roasted meat that led to contraction of human digestive system.
The authors use fat-free body instead of total body mass to eliminate influences created by variations by the size of adipose depots.
Adipose tissue has a cost in that it has to be carried around a process that can increase predation-induced mortality. However, it is advantageous in assisting animals to endure during food shortages.
The authors state that large brain is a cognitive buffer between starvations. Animals with large brain size also have large fat content storage and hence may not face increased cost of transport for the whole body.
Table 1 shows the variation between fat store and brain size in various body organs between primates and mammals. The information shows the correlation between the relative size of the brain and digestive organs.
Figure 1 shows the relationship between adipose depots, masses of visceral depots and the brain in mammals. The figure shows interpretations and analyzes from more than 100 mammalians ...
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