Brain Size of the African Grasscutter (Thryonomys Swinderianus, Temminck, 1827) at Defined Postnatal Periods

C. S. Ibe 1 , S. O. Salami 2 , and N. Wanmi 3
  • 1 Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, , Umudike, Nigeria
  • 2 University of Ilorin, , Ilorin, Nigeria
  • 3 University of Agriculture, , Markurdi, Nigeria

Abstract

As a sequel to the current advancement in ethology, this study was designed to provide information on the brain size of the African grasscutter at specific postnatal periods and to extrapolate these findings to the behaviour of the rodent in its natural habitat. Brain samples were extracted from African grasscutter neonates on postnatal day 6, juveniles on postnatal day 72 and adults on postnatal day 450 by basic neuro-anatomical techniques. The weight, volume and dimensions of the brain samples were determined in absolute and relative terms. Their encephalisation quotient was also computed. There was a very strong positive correlation between nose-rump length and brain length in the neonates. The relative brain weight of neonates, juveniles and adults were 3.84 ± 0.12 %, 2.49 ± 0.07 % and 0.44 ± 0.03 %, respectively. The differences were significant (P < 0.05). The encephalisation quotient of juveniles was 1.62 ± 0.03 while that of the adult was 0.49 ± 0.02. The difference was significant (P < 0.05). The results were extrapolated to the animal’s cognitive ability, and compared with other rodents. It was concluded that the juvenile African grasscutter may have higher cognitive ability than the adult rodent, thus, juveniles should be preferred in physiological studies of memory and cognition.

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