I am not a student of biology, so I should provide some context to me asking this rudimentary question. While doing a graduate-level course on Reinforcement Learning, the instructors focused on how we as mammals have such amazing intellectual potential and how we tend to learn by examples of outcome based on our actions. This set me thinking about the high disparity between different species of multicellular organisms in how we mature. I would state a couple of examples to back my point, I am unsure if this list is conclusive or not.
Elephants(Average Lifespan: 60-70 years): Elephant babies tend to stick to their families until they generally mature.
Humans(Average Lifespan: 70-80 years): Human babies are generally dependent on their parents for at least 8-12 years before they start demonstrating some intellectual maturity, which is a good 10-15 percent of their average lifespan)
Birds(Average lifespan is species-dependent, but assuming a 10-year span): Bird offsprings are extremely fast learners and tend to veer off independently within months of their birth.
Fishes (Medium to short lifespan): Not an extremely well-publicized parenting method for their offspring. Fishes learn to swim and hunt for food at extremely young ages, which is a sign of cognitive maturity.
Insects (Short Lifespan): Generally parenting is related to feeding offsprings for a short while before they become entirely independent.
As can be observed, the general span for the attainment of cognitive maturity in such organisms seems to be an inverse function of the average lifespan of the parent, and I wonder, what could be the reason for it?
I absolutely apologize for any inaccuracies I might have cited because what I state is purely from a layman's observational perspective. I would be delighted to know what the bright folks here have to say on this matter.