One of the hottest debates among animal lovers is, of course, about cats and dogs, with people wondering who is smarter. A recent study might have found an answer to this question, so the debate might soon reach its end. This research didn’t focus strictly on the differences between cats and dogs, but it revealed the smarter part of the duo, and that is dogs.
Who is smarter between cats and dogs?
You might have always been asking yourself this question, so researchers came with an answer. They selected eight animals that eat meat and started looking at their brain. Most of the animals were wild, with two exceptions – a domestic cat and dog. However, the purpose of the study was different.
Researchers selected all these creatures because they were all carnivorous. They wanted to see if hunting made them produce more cells on their outer layer of the brain. It turns out that a big number of cortex cells shows a bigger cognitive capacity of the animals. Therefore, the animal with the biggest number of cells should be the smartest.
However, the study came with a new opportunity, namely settling the debate on cats and dogs. After measuring the cortex cells in their brains, researchers obtained the long-awaited results. Cats have around 250 million neurons on their outer cortical layer. However, dogs own the advantage with 530 million neurons.
Dogs are the winners of the debate
Researchers also explained what these cells do. The more cortical neurons an animal has, the more capable it is to make predictions of the future based on its experience. Also, these cells should mean it can achieve a more complex mental state. In other words, biology helps dogs be more flexible when they make decisions and solve more complex tasks.
However, the results were a bit more complex than that. It turns out herbivores must be smart as well, so there isn’t such a big difference between them and carnivores. Even so, dogs still had the biggest number of neurons on their cortex. As another interesting observation, cats and black bears had the same number of neurons.
Judging from the findings, the debate on cats and dogs should be over. However, this doesn’t make cats stupid, or dogs the smartest animals out there. Both pets can often amaze us with their intelligence, and no cat lovers should get offended because of these results. The study in question was published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.
Image source: Flickr
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