Eli M. Swanson

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Mammalian brain volumes vary considerably, even after controlling for body size. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this variation, most research in mammals on the evolution of encephalization has focused on primates, leaving the generality of these explanations uncertain. Furthermore, much research still addresses only one hypothesis(More)
Despite considerable interest in the forces shaping the relationship between brain size and cognitive abilities, it remains controversial whether larger-brained animals are, indeed, better problem-solvers. Recently, several comparative studies have revealed correlations between brain size and traits thought to require advanced cognitive abilities, such as(More)
We suggest that variation in mammalian behavioural flexibility not accounted for by current socioecological models may be explained in part by developmental constraints. From our own work, we provide examples of constraints affecting variation in behavioural flexibility, not only among individuals, but also among species and higher taxonomic units. We first(More)
Size-related traits are common targets of natural selection, yet there is a relative paucity of data on selection among mammals, particularly from studies measuring lifetime reproductive success (LRS). We present the first phenotypic selection analysis using LRS on size-related traits in a large terrestrial carnivore, the spotted hyena, which displays a(More)
Morphological scaling relationships between organ and body size-also known as allometries-describe the shape of a species, and the evolution of such scaling relationships is central to the generation of morphological diversity. Despite extensive modeling and empirical tests, however, the modes of selection that generate changes in scaling remain largely(More)
Understanding why organisms vary in developmental plasticity has implications for predicting population responses to changing environments and the maintenance of intraspecific variation. The epiphenotype hypothesis posits that the timing of development can constrain plasticity-the earlier alternate phenotypes begin to develop, the greater the difference(More)
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