Elephants Have Relatively the Largest Cerebellum Size of Mammals
Article first published online: 26 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The Anatomical Record
Volume 295, Issue 4, pages 661–672, April 2012
How to Cite
Maseko, B. C., Spocter, M. A., Haagensen, M. and Manger, P. R. (2012), Elephants Have Relatively the Largest Cerebellum Size of Mammals. Anat Rec, 295: 661–672. doi: 10.1002/ar.22425
- Issue published online: 12 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 26 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 17 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 14 OCT 2011
- South African National Research Foundation. Grant Number: FA2005033100004
The current study used MR imaging to determine the volume of the cerebellum and its component parts in the brain of three adult male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and compared this with published data from Asian elephants and other mammalian species including odontocete cetaceans, primates, chiropterans, insectivores, carnivores, and artiodactyls. The cerebellum of the adult elephant has a volume of ∼925 mL (average of both African and Asian species). Allometric analysis indicates that the elephant has the largest relative cerebellum size of all mammals studied to date. In addition, both odontocete cetaceans and microchiropterans appear to have large relative cerebellar sizes. The vermal and hemispheric components of the African elephant cerebellum are both large relative to other mammals of similar brain size, however, for odontocete cetaceans the vermal component is small and the hemispheric component is large. These volumetric observations are related to life-histories and anatomies of the species investigated. The current study provides context for one aspect of the elephant brain in the broader picture of mammalian brain evolution. Anat Rec, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.