Researchers at the University of Toronto reconstructed two endocasts of Paramys, the oldest and best-preserved rodent skulls on record.

The key difference is that Paramys was relatively smaller than even the most primitive primates in the neocortex region, the part of the brain that deals with 'higher' brain functions like sight and hearing.

What fascinated both Bertrand and Silcox was that Paramys's brain was larger than some later occurring rodents, which contradicts the idea that brains generally increase in size over time.

The research also showed that the obsession with brain size, especially in the human paleontological literature, makes little sense since size is not the only indicator of intelligence.

The research was recently published online in the journal Royal Society B.


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