Elephant Brains

A common debate among scientist is how the relative size of an animals brain relates to it's intelligence. Elephants have the largest brain of all the land animals. Elephants are also very smart. Holdrege starts the article off by presenting a series of stories detailing accounts of elephants doing seeming intelligent things. He then describes intelligence as "the capacity to meet new and unforeseen situations by rapid and effective adjustment of behavior" . He believes that elephants are intelligent but not as intelligent as humans. He encourages one to not personify elephants like one would a person, but just acknowledge that elephants can think of alternative routes to solving problems.

Holdrege points out that, along with humans and dolphins, elephants have brains with many convolsions which create more surface area. They also have areas of the brain that are highly enlarged. Areas such as the cerebellum, temporal lobe, and olfactory lobe. These enlargements lead to an increased sense of smell and muscle coordination. This leads to the conclusion that this is the reason why elephants are so able to control their trunks.

In relations to body size an elephant's brain is .08% of it's weight whereas a humans is about 2% of the body weight. An elephant's brain usually weighs about 9 12 lbs. That is larger than the average size of a new born baby.

This type of comparison, along with animal behavior, is the subjects that I am most interested in and that I would like to continue studying when I am done with my undergraduate career. I would like to believe that humans are egotistical in thinking that they are many of generations and higher mutations away from any other animal. I believe all animals, especially animals such as elephants and dolphins, are still smarter than humans give them credit for.


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This page contains a single entry by swan1205 published on December 8, 2011 6:37 PM.

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