The ages old argument, who’s smarter… Garfield or Odie… Well if you ever read the comic strip, it’s definitely Garfield but according to science, it’s actually Odie.
An international team of scientists who work at universities and zoos around the world have found that dogs are indeed smarter than cats. Their findings will be published in the Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.
The report found that dogs’ brains have double the amount of cortical neurons (the cells linked to learning) than cats’ brains.
The team actually studied eight different carnivorans, a large class of mammals that have teeth and claws that can allow for them to eat other animals. (This class is NOT the same as carnivore class, a much larger class that includes bears, raccoons, and seals.)
Suzana Herculano-Houzel, an associate professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt University was one of the researchers on the team. Vanderbilt was the school that developed the method to court the amount of neurons.
“I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state,” said Herculano-Houzel.
The research did account for physical brain size along with assessing the number of cortical neurons and it turns out that dogs do have more sheer brainpower than animals like African lions and brown bears (Who knew that Odie could be that smart if just used his brain).
Why could a dog be smarter than a lion or a bear, well as the paper explains: the bigger you are, the more energy you need.
Well Odie, you are smart. I think its time to kick Garfield off the couch and take your rightful spot as smartest pet.