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Scientists Breed Big-Brained Guppies To Demonstrate Evolution's Trade-Offs 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-fat-headed-just-big-brained dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have long suspected that big brains come with an evolutionary price — but now they've published the first experimental evidence to support that suspicion, based on their efforts to breed big-brained fish. A Swedish team found it relatively easy to select and interbreed common guppies to produce bigger (or smaller) brains — as much as 9.3 percent bigger, to be precise (abstract). But the bigger-brained fish also tended to have smaller guts and produce fewer babies."
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Scientists Breed Big-Brained Guppies To Demonstrate Evolution's Trade-Offs

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  • Re:Uh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:35PM (#42483933) Journal
    Maybe they're not smarter, maybe they're just interested in different things? Animals with a gut all evolved from worms, in a sense the rest of the animal is there to keep the "worm" inside them alive. A human gut has it's own nervous system that can continue to function normally even if all connections to the brain are severed. If a fish gut works the same way then maybe they are "just" moving computing resources around between gut and brain? Kinda like getting an Obama by selectively breeding Texan Governors.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin