Friday, September 04, 2009

Brain Size in Big Cats!

Disclaimer: Tigers are my most favorite animal in the world. I could go on for an eternity about the threat of extinction and conservation of tigers, but I'm going to go ahead and skip that and jump into this article. It probably is only interesting to me, but I don't care.

Are Tigers 'Brainier' Than Lions?

The answer is YES! On average, according to this study, they have a brain that's 16% larger (!!!!) than lions do!

This is surprising for a couple of reasons-- 1) Lions and Tigers are really really similar in overall size, lions even have longer skulls; and 2) It has been posited by science (though not proven at all) that social animals generally evolve larger brains to accommodate the demands of, well, group dynamics and socializing.

I kind of find that second point really interesting. It occurs to me that perhaps social animals don't have to have larger brains BECAUSE they live in groups, so generally speaking, they could be a little bit less smart because the numbers are in their favor.

Anyway, they don't know why tigers have larger brains, but it sounds like they're going to keep looking into it, and I'll be REALLY fascinated to hear what parts of the brain are more developed in tigers vs. lions when that's addressed.

Yeah, sorry. This is lacking in social commentary and philosophical discourse in a big way. But I figure at least it's a better post than my wordcount (I'm flying through my fourth book in 10 months--it's been a huge distraction from the blog).

Also, I suck at using parentheses.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by!

    I'm excited about my book club, too. Several parents have thanked me for hosting it. I feel like I've been handed a huge, drippy ice cream cone. I need no thanks for taking it on, you know? This is my love!


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