That’s the claim being made by researchers at Oxford University. Measuring the brain size of mammals has shown that there is a link between the size of an animal’s brain in relation to the rest of its body and how socially active it was. Over 500 species of living and fossilised mammals’ brains were examined and it appears that highly social species such as monkeys and dogs have undergone much more rapid increases than more solitary species such as deer or cats.
Why? Well living in a group requires co-operation and co-ordination, so over time some mammals have evolved larger brains to be able to cope with the demands of socialising.
Obviously the cat vs dog debate – which species is superior – will never end. But I guess dog owners are loving this new development, judging by the media coverage this week. Article in Telegraph. Dr Jo talks on radio.
However, cats are having their say too and guess what? Cats disagree!
Cat owners should not be despondent. After all, they – the cat owners – are more intelligent that their canine counterparts. And perhaps it is smarter to choose to live with a less intelligent creature. Being smart is great when you have a job to do but being stuck in a backyard all day means that you have to use your brain to think up activities to do – pull washing off the line, dig gigantic holes, howl. Aren’t dog clever!
So which species do you think is smarter? And why?