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Brain: An Introduction

Last updated date: 18th Mar 2023
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If I ask you what is the smartest and most intelligent animal, your answer would be dolphins. But, in fact, chimpanzees are the smartest animals. They have sharper memories than dolphins. They are also more aware of themselves. Do you know the brain is present in every animal, or some animals are without a brain? Some invertebrates, such as sponges, do not have brains. Do you think intelligence is directly linked to brain size? Does larger brain size mean more intelligence? Or smaller brain size means less intelligence? To know the answer, continue reading this article!

What is a Brain?

Brian is a complex organ found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. It is our main organ that performs all complex functions. It is an organ that controls our thoughts, emotions, memory, hunger, temperature, and every process that regulates the body of an organism. Brain size is one of the main indicators of intelligence, and it is determined by weight and sometimes by skull volume.

Largest Brain Animal

Many mammals have the largest brain size compared to their body size. Some mammals have the largest brain size, as given below;

  • Sperm Whale - The brain of a sperm whale is the largest, the sperm head constitutes 25-30 percent of the whole body length. The average weight of a sperm whale head is 18 pounds, and the volume is 500 cubic inches.

  • The Killer Whale - It is also a sea creature with the biggest brain. These are also known as Orcas. They have a brain weight of between 12 and 15 pounds. They are also intelligent animals.

  • Elephant - An elephant has the largest brain size among living land-dwelling mammals. An elephant's brain is present on the back side, not the front side. The average weight of the elephant's brain is 12 pounds and a little less than the sperm whale.

  • Dolphin - It is known as one of the most intelligent creatures; its brain comprises 1.19 percent of the whole body weight.

Smallest Brain Animal

The ragworm is an animal similar to an earthworm with the smallest brain. The ragworm is very small in size. It is equivalen to almost one strand of human hair. The neurons of these animals' brains work the same as human neurons.

Functions of Brain

The brain is the most important organ of organisms. It performs various functions and controls the overall mechanism of the body. Some of the functions of the brain are given below:

  • Perception - Sense organs help us to perceive various information, and then this perceived information goes to the brain for analysis.

  • Motor control - All voluntary and involuntary motor functions are in direct or indirect regulation of the central nervous system.

  • Sleep - The pineal gland present in the brain is responsible for maintaining the sleep-wake sleep-wake cycle.

  • Homeostasis - Maintaining a constant body environment is done by the hypothalamus.

  • Motivation and Learning - Motivation and learning are greatly maintained by the amygdala.

  • Memory - Hippocampus is the most important part of the brain for storing memory.

Interesting Facts

  • Brain storage capacity is unlimited for humans.

  • The spinal cords stop rowing at the age of 4.

  • A human brain can generate enough power to light a bulb; this power is equivalent to 23 watts.

  • The brain can't feel pain, it can only interpret pain.

  • After middle age, the human brain starts decreasing in size.

  • Our brain has 20 percent of oxygen and blood in the overall body.

  • An adult barbarian weighs a maximum of about 3 pounds.

Important Questions

Q1. Which is the heaviest and largest brain animal in the world?

Ans: Sperm whales are one of the animals with the heaviest and largest brains in the world. Its brain can weigh up to 20 pounds. But a big brain means not having more intelligence.

Q2. What animal is smarter than a human?

Ans: Chimpanzees are primates and are somewhat smarter than humans in storing memory. They are better than humans at memory tasks.

Q3. What are the most intelligent dogs?

Ans: There are many breeds of dogs. But Border Collies are one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs. It is the smartest known breed of dog.

Key Features

  • In this article, we have studied the brain, the heaviest and lightest brain, and the functions of brain.

  • The heaviest and largest brain animal in the world is the sperm whale, and killer whale elephants and dolphins also have large and heavy brains.

  • A ragworm is an animal with the smallest brain size, and the size of a ragworm is equal to one hair strand of a human.

  • The brain has a variety of functions such as motor response, memory, thinking, perceptions, homeostasis, etc.

Practice Questions

Q1. Which land animal has the largest brain?

Q2. What animal has the smallest brain?

Q3. Which is the heaviest brain mammal?

Q4. How intelligent is the sperm whale?

Q5. Which is the smartest animal?

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FAQs on Largest Brain Animal

1. Why do animals evolve with larger brain sizes?

According to some scientists, the size of the brain depends on three things - maternal nourishment, the size of the body, and complexity. Some scientists believe that the larger the animal, the smaller the brain-to-body size ratio. Some animals evolve larger sizes according to their needs. But it is not that larger animals will have large brain sizes. Brain size is not always a good indicator of intelligence. For example, humans and rodents have the same brain-to-body size ratio, but rodents are less intelligent than humans.

2. Why do sperm whales have large brains?

Sperm whales and dolphins have larger brains for socialising. They have larger brains for handling the demands of socialising. Some studies suggest that dolphins and whales speak to each other, they have their accents, and they call each other by their names.

3. What are the three parts of the brain?

The human brain is divided into three main parts- Forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain.

  1. Forebrain - It is also known as prosencephalon. It is made of the cerebral cortex and performs the main functions such as memory storage, thinking, complex cognitive functions, and voluntary motor activities 

  2. Midbrain - It is also known as the mesencephalon, is an important area for visual and auditory functions.

  3. Hindbrain - It is the last part of the brain composed of the pons, cerebellum and medulla. The medulla is the centre of various organs, such as the respiratory rhythm centre, cardiac centre and vomiting centre in the medulla oblongata.

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