Many scientists argue that only either social or ecological pressures that the worldwide primate population faces led to the eventual development of larger brains and increase cognitive ability. It is also a very widely held scientific belief that neither of these environmental pressure-types was solely responsible, but in fact that some distinct combination thereof resulted in the anthropologically documented increase in average relative primate brain size (Cheney & Seyfarth, 2007). If a combination of these two pressures was responsible, then necessarily either social or ecological intelligence must have come first and subsequently led to the proliferation of the other.
Realistically, the most likely scenario is that early primates first gained the vestiges of intelligence from ecological factors which were necessary to maintain even the most basic levels of survival, and then, once they began to gain certain evolutionary advantages from that intelligence, they expanded and fine-tuned it by means of social interactions and communication. This explanation gains an exceptional amount of credence from the fact that in order for ...
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Fletcher, M. (Writer and Editor). (2008). Clever monkeys [Television Series Episode]. In J. Clarke & I. Tejaratchi (Producers), Nature. New York: Thirteen/WNET New York and BBC.
Fragaszy, D.M., Greenberg, R., Visalberghi, E., Ottoni, E.B., Izar, P.I., & Liu, Q. (2010). How wild bearded capuchin monkeys select stones and nuts to minimize the number of strikes per nut cracked. Animal Behaviour, 80, 205-214. Reviewed by McClanahan, 2012.
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