Scientists wrong in linking gene to whale and dolphin brain evolution

In 2012, a team of Chinese scientists showed that a gene called ASPM has gone through bouts of accelerated evolution in two very different groups of animals—whales and dolphins, and ourselves.

The discovery made a lot of sense. Many earlier studies had already shown that ASPM is one of several genes that affect brain size in primates. Since our ancestors split apart from chimps, our version of ASPM has changed with incredible speed and shows signs of intense adaptive evolution. Perhaps this gene played an important role in the evolution of our big brains.

It seems plausible that it did something similar in whales and dolphins (cetaceans). But many scientists were skeptical, and it seems they were right to be.

Read the full, original story: On Dolphins, Big Brains, Shared Genes and Logical Leaps

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