The brain size of some mammal species is getting larger, possibly due to human alterations in the natural environment.  University of Minnesota biologist Emilie C. Snell-Rood studied a collection of mammal skulls at the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Snell-Rood studied ten species of small mammals, including mice, shrews, bats, and gophers.  Using skulls that were collected over the past century, her research team documented a six percent increase in brain size in white-footed mice and meadow voles collected in cities or suburbs, as compared to animals from rural areas.  Dr. Snell-Rood also found an increase in brain size in four species from rural parts of Minnesota.

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