Sidney johnson

Why does a whale need such a big brain?

Recommended Posts

If a whale has Almost the same organs as us then why does it need such a big brain? I wouldn’t think for example a bigger colon would require such a large section of brain to control because it would still be the same function just larger size. Also are the neurons bigger? If so that makes even less sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because they are the largest creatures on earth. At the highest end of the food chain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, rangerx said:

Because they are the largest creatures on earth. At the highest end of the food chain.

Can you expand on that? I also don't see how more brain volume is necessary just because organs are larger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Larger brains are probably simply a by-product of there larger sizes. It may simply be a result of evolution analogously "taking" them into a path which favored larger sizes and as a result, all of their organs scaled in size. So there may not be any intrinsic advantage for having such a large sized brain, whereas it is only a "scaling up" due to other organs scaling up as well. So a larger heart requires more information being sent and therefore the requirement of a larger brain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Can you expand on that? I also don't see how more brain volume is necessary just because organs are larger.

Warm blood, big brain, cold small.

Metabolism.

Strategic activity as opposed to instinctive.

I'm not sure it's related to intelligence much though,  because the brain to body mass ratio of a mouse is about the same as a human.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Details how to build organs are inherited from previous generations in genes. Useless organs are vanishing (e.g. tail in humans). Useful organs are developing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whales have large brains to process the sonar images they use to both navigate and communicate, they are highly social creatures with very complex social structures and relationships, all these things require lots of processing power combine with such huge bodies and you get large brains. A sperm whale has the largest known brain many times as big and complex as a human brain, they along with elephants have some of the largest brains in the animal kingdom. IMHO a large animal, with complex social structures, complex behaviors, communication, a need for precise spatial orientation and accurate memory need a large brain. The real question is does the large brain drive the behaviors or do the behaviors drive the growth of the brain...  

It's interesting that the fish with the largest brain to body ratio, larger than the brain to body ratio of humans, has electrical sonar, communicates via electrical impulses, engages in complex social behaviors, navigates its environment, detects prey, is blind, and does this as neatly and precisely as any sighted animal...  

Edited by Moontanman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Moontanman said:

It's interesting that the fish with the largest brain to body ratio, larger than the brain to body ratio of humans, has electrical sonar, communicates via electrical impulses, engages in complex social behaviors, navigates its environment, detects prey, is blind, and does this as neatly and precisely as any sighted animal...  

Which fish is that Moon?

I am confused if you are calling the whale a fish or you are talking about Manta Rays, Sharks or elephantfish. (all of them have very high brain to body mass ratio)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Silvestru said:

Which fish is that Moon?

I am confused if you are calling the whale a fish or you are talking about Manta Rays, Sharks or elephantfish. (all of them have very high brain to body mass ratio)

 

I am talking about mormyrids and it is interesting that some of them are called baby whales... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now