Elephant brain Part I: Gross morphology, functions, comparative anatomy, and evolution

  title={Elephant brain Part I: Gross morphology, functions, comparative anatomy, and evolution},
  author={Jeheskel Shoshani and William Kupsky and Gary H. Marchant},
  journal={Brain Research Bulletin},

Elephants Have Relatively the Largest Cerebellum Size of Mammals

The current study provides context for one aspect of the elephant brain in the broader picture of mammalian brain evolution by determining the volume of the cerebellum and its component parts in the brain of three adult male African elephants and compared this with published data from Asian elephants and other mammalian species.

Quantitative analysis of neocortical gyrencephaly in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and six species of cetaceans: Comparison with other mammals

All three groups of marine mammals showed unusual extents of cortical gyrencephaly, indicating a morphological alteration of the telencephalon associated with the return to the marine environment.

Large brains and cognition: Where do elephants fit in?

Brain Changes during Phyletic Dwarfing in Elephants and Hippos

  • G. Lyras
  • Biology
    Brain, Behavior and Evolution
  • 2018
The results of this study indicate that insular dwarf species follow brain-body allometric relationships different from the expected patterns seen for their mainland relatives.

Organization and chemical neuroanatomy of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) hippocampus

The elephant exhibits, for the most part, what might be considered a typically mammalian hippocampus in terms of both size and architecture, which is not unduly enlarged, nor specifically unusual in its internal morphology.

Brain evolution in Proboscidea (Mammalia, Afrotheria) across the Cenozoic

The authors' analyses support that, in general, brain size and body mass co-evolved in proboscideans across the Cenozoic; however, this pattern appears disrupted by two instances of specific increases in relative brain size in the late Oligocene and early Miocene.

The size and complexity of dolphin brains—a paradox?

  • S. Huggenberger
  • Biology
    Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • 2008
It is suggested that the evolution of the large dolphin brain was possible due to a combination of different prerequisites based on adaptations to the aquatic environment including the sonar system and the rudimentary pelvic girdle did not limit brain size at birth.

The mummified brain of a pleistocene woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) compared with the brain of the extant African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

The analysis provided here indicates that a specific brain type representative of the Elephantidae is likely to be a feature of this mammalian family, and the extensive similarities between the woolly mammoth brain and the African elephant brain indicate that the specializations observed in the extant elephant brain are likely to have been present in the Woolly mammoth.

Architectural Organization of the African Elephant Diencephalon and Brainstem

It is shown that, while much of the elephant brainstem is typically mammalian, certain aspects of the anatomy related to specialized behaviour of elephants are present and instructive in understanding elephant behaviour.

Neuronal morphology in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) neocortex

The current study provides the first documentation of neuronal morphology in frontal and occipital regions of the African elephant and elaborate on the evolutionary roots of Afrotherian brain organization and highlight unique aspects of neural architecture in elephants.



Brain of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana): neuroanatomy from magnetic resonance images.

The elephant has an unusually large and convoluted hippocampus compared to primates and especially to cetaceans, and this may be related to the extremely long social and chemical memory of elephants.

Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence

The evidence of the actual evolution of the vertebrate brain is analyzed by reviewing morphological data on endocasts and skeletons of several hundred fossil species and comparing these with living

Why Does Cerebral Cortex Fissure and Fold ? A Review of Determinants of Gyri and Sulci

It is recognized early in comparative studies of cerebral cortex that cortical thickness and columnar and laminar architecture differ relatively little in different mammals, whereas the cortical surface area varies over an enormous range.

Cognitive behaviour in Asian elephants: use and modification of branches for fly switching

It is proposed that fly switching with branches is a common form of tool use in wild Asian elephants when fly intensity is high, placing this animal in the category of great apes in terms of cognitive abilities for tool use and tool manufacture.

Relative brain size and basal metabolic rate in terrestrial vertebrates

Re-examination of brain–body size relationships for large samples of species from three major vertebrate groups now shows that there is no empirical foundation for the concept of scaling to body surface area, and it seems that brain size may be linked to maternal metabolic turnover.

Relative Brain Size and Demographic Strategies in Didelphid Marsupials

Some didelphid marsupials (e.g., Caluromys) have undergone selection toward a demographic strategy which is in part convergent with the extant nocturnal prosimians.


The original meaning of this structure as a simple border around the telencephalic or diencephalic ventricle or the foramen of Monro is now somewhat modified, because numerous regions have been discovered that are related to the limbic structures in both anatomical and functional respects.

Linked regularities in the development and evolution of mammalian brains.

Analysis of data collected on 131 species of primates, bats, and insectivores showed that the sizes of brain components, from medulla to forebrain, are highly predictable from absolute brain size by

The skull and mandible of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

The squamous part of the temporal bone lies sagittally in young animals, but moves progressively to a transverse plane as the animals age, and the ethmoturbinate, nasal and lacrimal bones are exceptionally small.