A conserved pattern of brain scaling from sharks to primates Academic Article uri icon


  • Several patterns of brain allometry previously observed in mammals have been found to hold for sharks and related taxa (chondrichthyans) as well. In each clade, the relative size of brain parts, with the notable exception of the olfactory bulbs, is highly predictable from the total brain size. Compared with total brain mass, each part scales with a characteristic slope, which is highest for the telencephalon and cerebellum. In addition, cerebellar foliation reflects both absolute and relative cerebellar size, in a manner analogous to mammalian cortical gyrification. This conserved pattern of brain scaling suggests that the fundamental brain plan that evolved in early vertebrates permits appropriate scaling in response to a range of factors, including phylogeny and ecology, where neural mass may be added and subtracted without compromising basic function.


  • Yopak, KE
  • Lisney, TJ
  • Darlington, RB
  • Collin, SP
  • Montgomery, JC
  • Finlay, BL

publication date

  • July 20, 2010