Category: brain

The Genetics of Whale Brain Expansion: Amended Post

What a Mess A paper that purports to show that more social cetaceans are smarter actually proves the opposite, and my first analysis of it contained two important errors. My first mistake was due to difficulties with reading files on

Does Eating Fruit Lead Brain Evolution?

There has been a dearth of important academic papers directly pertaining to cetacean intelligence over these past few months. Today I post my much delayed analysis of a significant paper on primate intelligence. It was published in Nature Ecology &

Neanderthal Intelligence and the Sperm Whale Brain

One of the few things we know about the internal organisation of the sperm whale brain is its cerebellar quotient (CQ). That information would be insignificant did it not place this species brain in two unique categories. In all other other cetaceans,

The Most Intelligent Fish and its Relevance

If you ever try to google for the most intelligent fish (ie. vertebrate that isn’t a tetrapod), the the most common result, and the only one of any consensus, is the manta ray. These are extreme curious and playful animals, with

Novel Ways to Measure Animal Intelligence

Yawn Duration To date, the highest correlation with animal intelligence yet proven by data, is that of absolute brain size. Unfortunately, we also know that brain allometry differs substantially  by group among both mammals and bird. As an example of the

Placing Other Mammals by the Scale of Primate Intelligence

Just after I wrote of avian intelligence, and how well it matched expected primate intelligence if we measured by the animal’s forebrain neuron number, I realised that that narrow methodology wasn’t the one I would employ to estimate another primate. For primates, the data

Bird Brains and Intelligence

Birds are one of the most intelligent groups of animals, but their general abilities are much harder to compare than we find for primates. A very high avian ability at one particular tasks does not as consistently suggest high cognitive abilities in other tasks,

Brain Size and Intelligence in Carnivores

Many studies have shown an intraspecific correlation of brain size and intelligence but, for this website, only cross species  correlations are of interest. Despite much speculation in scientific literature, there have only ever been three papers providing evidence for or against a

How Can They Get the Brain so Wrong?

It is said that the darkest hour is just before dawn As results begin to suggest the very highest placement for sperm whales cognition, some researchers have stretched the current data to retain the status quo. One recent example has been sufficiently extreme