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Domestic cats have smaller brains than wild cats

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Domestic cats have smaller brains than wild cats
Scientists have found that after domestication, the brain began to decrease in cats. The study was published in the scientific publication Royal Society Open Service.

After people tamed cats (which happened about 9500 years ago in the Middle East), the cranium of the latter began to decrease in volume, and with it the brain. In a recent study, scientists repeated the experience of studying the size of skulls, which was done in the 60-70s of the last century. In the process, the researchers compared domestic species with the African wild cat, considered the closest relative to the current domesticated individuals. As a result, it turned out that the volume of the skull (and, accordingly, the brain) in domestic cats is 25% less than in wild counterparts belonging to species with a habitat in Africa and Europe.

The article also notes that in hybrids of domestic and wild European species, the volume of the skull is at an intermediate level compared to the two parental species.

The conducted research and the results obtained do not mean at all that our pets are dumber than their wild relatives. According to a popular hypothesis, after domestication, cats changed the way their brain tissue developed. At the embryonic stage, the migration and proliferation (increase in the number) of neural crest cells slow down, which can lead to a correlation of changes in morphology, response to stress, and brain size.

It is worth noting that not only in cats there was a decrease in the brain after domestication. Similar processes are found in other domestic animals: dogs, sheep, rabbits, etc.
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