According to new research, dogs' brains have grown larger at a faster rate than cats' brains, apparently because dogs live in large social groups. Does this mean that dogs are smarter than cats?
Well, uh. Let's put it this way: Generally, scientists have thought that brain size increased at the same rate across all mammals, but a new meta-analysis of brain and body size across some 500 species of current and extinct species would seem to indicate otherwise:
The brains of monkeys grew the most over time followed by horses, dolphins, camels and dogs.
[The study] found that groups of mammals with relatively bigger brains tended to live in stable social groups. The brains of more solitary mammals such as cats, deer and rhino, grew much more slowly during the same period.
According to Dr. Susanne Shultz, who directed the research, "it appears that interaction is good for the brain." So, assuming that brain size correlates with intelligence, and assuming that Dr. Shultz's research can be verified, and assuming that "intelligence" is even a meaningful, workable concept outside the realm of a human-consciousness framework, why then, yes, indeed, dogs are smarter than cats, way smarter! Like, 200 SAT points smarter!
[Telegraph; image via Shutterstock]