Who is the brainiest of them all?

Eurasian harvest mouse

The Eurasian harvest mouse is 5 times brainier than you.

Fun neurofact of the week: The human brain, though large for our body size, is far from the body-mass-adjusted biggest in the animal kingdom.  This point was made William T. Wcislo is his recent brief letter to Science (14 December 2012, p 1419):

“In the news focus story “Why are our brains so big?” (5 October 2012, p 33) M. Balter claims that “the size of the Homo sapiens brain outstrips that of any other animal” once an adjustment is made for body weight.  When expressed as a percentage of body mass, the brain masses of some small mammals considerably exceed the approximate 2% value for humans [e.g., the brains of Eurasian harvest mice (Micromys minutus) comprise roughly 10% of the their total mass].  Many invertebrate animals have brains that are relatively even larger, including tiny ants with brains that account for nearly 15% of their body mass.  Perhaps this is one reason Darwin noted that “the brain of an ant is one of the most marvelous atoms of matter in the world, perhaps more marvelous than the brain of man”.

Perhaps our real claim to fame is having the biggest ego.

-David Groppe


~ by eeging on December 22, 2012.

2 Responses to “Who is the brainiest of them all?”

  1. too bad you can’t measure ego – perhaps some other animal exceeds us there as well?

    • Great to hear from you Dr. Obinson. Perhaps you could use your psychophysics expertise to venture into psychometrics and solve the problem?

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