Ever wonder which would take over the world first- your dog or your cat?
Well thanks to researchers at Vanderbilt University in the US we have the answer- dogs are officially smarter than cats. Which explains the manipulative genius of the puppy dog eyes.
Researchers looked at the number of neurons on the cerebral cortex of cats and dogs, the results were clear: dogs had far more. Man's best friend have around 530 million cortical neurons while cats have about 250 million - that's less than half the brain power of dogs. In comparison, the average human cortex contains about 16 billion neurons.
"In this study, we were interested in comparing different species of carnivores to see how the numbers of neurons in their brains relate to the size of their brains, including a few favourite species including cats and dogs, lions and brown bears," Associate Professor of Psychology and Biological Sciences Suzana Herculano-Houzel told Mamamia.
It has been a long-standing debate in the scientific community as to how exactly to measure the comparative intelligence of species. At first they thought it was the size of the brain- but that would make elephants and whales more intelligent than humans. Then, they investigated the size of the brain in comparison to the body- that would mean that dolphins and birds should be top of the food-chain.
Eventually, they discovered that counting the amount of neurons (brain cells) to be the most accurate measure of a species intelligence.
"I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience," Herculano-Houzel explained.
"Our findings mean to me that dogs have the biological capability of doing much more complex and flexible things with their lives than cats can."
So be nice to your puppers, they're smarter than you're giving them credit for!