Which Animal has the Largest Brain in Proportion to its Body Size?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 22nd, 2023

Dolphin has the largest brain in proportion to its body size. Dolphins are regarded as highly intelligent animals and are very similar to humans. The dolphin’s brain weighs 3.5 pounds and makes up only 1.19 per cent of its entire body mass. Similar to humans, dolphins have a large neocortex compared to other animals. Scientists have examined the importance of brain size in animals as a potential predictor of intelligence. Usually, weight is used to estimate brain size, although skull volume can also be used.

Animal with the Largest Brain Relative to its Body Size

The sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) has the largest brain. Of all cetaceans, dolphins have the highest brain-to-body weight ratio. The highest invertebrate has either octopuses or jumping spiders. Humans have a higher brain-to-body weight ratio than any of these species.

Sharks have one of the greatest ratios of any species, despite the electrogenic elephant having a ratio almost 100 times higher than humans (around 1/34). The smallest known animal with the largest brain-to-body mass ratio is the shrew, which has a brain that accounts for almost 10% of its total body weight.

Important Points on Brain-Body Ratio:

While the ratio of brain mass to body mass is frequently related to body size, it is not necessarily the same. Check the important points of the largest brain-to-body size facts below:

  • The Dolphin is the animal with the greatest brain in comparison to its size.
  • Of all cetaceans, dolphins have the highest brain-to-body weight ratio.
  • Humans and great apes have smaller brains than bottlenose dolphins, with a higher brain-to-body weight ratio.
  • The largest among reptiles are tegus, monitor lizards, anoles, and several turtle species.
  • The parrots, magpies, crows, jays, and ravens, among birds, have the highest brain-to-body ratios compared to others.

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