From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Whale of a Brain

Sperm Whale   (Photo by Stahlkocher)
Although sperm whales, elephants and porpoises have bigger brains than we do, does this mean that they’re more intelligent?

What about brain-to-body ratio?  Elephants have bigger brains, but they also have bigger everything.

It turns out that the largest brain-to-body ratio exists within the tree shrew, and “no one thinks that tree shrews are intellectual giants.”

Next up in brain-to-body size are humans, and their intellectual decisions are often questionable. Scientific American reports that the human head has “swelled, in only 3 million years, from the puny 380-cubic-centimeter brain of ‘Lucy’… to the modern 1300-cubic-centimeter cranial capacity of Homo sapiens.”  Yet swelled heads can be more trouble than they’re worth.

So does overall brain size matter that much?  Or could it be that specific parts of the brain are far more important? Although humans have more neurons, whales have more glia.  Because glia also process information, whales may simply excel at a different type of intelligence.


Copyright June 12, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment