Sunday, November 28, 2010

Who is smarter? Dogs or cats?

Dogs and cats are our most favorite pets, and sometimes you get the feeling they can understand every single word you say to them. This of course isn't true though compared to some other animals dogs and cats are real Einsteins. But who is smarter? Dog or cat?

If we are to believe the latest study coming from the Oxford University's Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology the dogs are the ones that are smarter because they have bigger brains relative to body size as compared to cats.

Up until recently, the widely accepted theory was that the growth rate of the brain relative to body size followed a general trend across all groups of mammals. According to this theory there wouldn't be any difference compared to dogs and cats, in terms of intelligence.

The new theory is different, and according to this new theory dogs have larger brains than cats do. Why is that? The scientists believe that the main reason for this is the fact that dogs are highly social species while on the other hand cats are solitary animals.

According to scientists the social species need to think more compared to solitary animals, and this is the reason why social species have larger brains. Social animals need larger brains because cooperation and coordination needed for group living is much more challenging compared to solitary life.

What this study shows is that the social component plays extremely important role in evolution. Socializing isn't the easiest thing in human world let alone in animal world, and some animals needed to develop larger brains in order to enhance their social skills.

The scientists used available data of the measurements of brain size and body size of each group of living mammals and compared them with similar data for the fossilized remains of mammals of the same lineage. They examined the growth rates of the brain size relative to body size to see if there were any changes in the proportions over time. The growth rates of each mammal group were compared with other mammal groups to see what patterns emerged.

It's no wonder Tom finds it so hard to catch Jerry:)

1 comments:

Anonymous,  May 22, 2011 at 8:29 AM  

I have a cat and it seems to be disinterested in socializing