Talk:List of animals by number of neurons

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Sorting does not work correctly

clicking the heading of the column for sorting by number of neuron seems to sort alphabetically not numerically. Glover (talk) 00:15, 20 December 2017 (UTC)


There is big error in Ant neuron numbers in source I have corrected this but other animals also should be checked. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Retsef (talkcontribs) 11:20, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

new page

I tried the best I could, borrowing layouts from this page, if anyone thinks that they can rearrange the page, then please go ahed. Paskari 14:48, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

How to save this page

Turn it into an article discussing the significance the number of neurons (citing reliable sources, of course). Given that there are an estimated 1.5 million described species, this list can never come anywhere near completeness, and without discussion of the significance of the number of neurons for a given species, it will never be more than an indiscriminate collection of information. -- Donald Albury 00:59, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I disagree that this page is an indiscrimated collection of information' for it fails to be considered any of the following:
  • FAQ's
  • Travel Guides
  • Memorials
  • Instruction Manuals
  • Internet guides
  • Textbooks and annotated texts
  • Plot summaries

I will update it and discuss the number of neurons. I personally believe that the problem with wikipedia is that there is not enough detailed evidence. If you go to the animal page, it does a very good job of discussing the basics (similar characteristics amongst different animals, root of the name, reproduction, history), but fails to provide information which people, like myself, require: general behavior, pages for specific animals, specific strengths, specific strengths... I also disagree that this site should be closed down simply because there are 1.5 million types of animals

  1. the number is not that big when you group similar animals together (canines, felines...)
  2. should we also close down the insect page by this reasoning?

I will take your advice and try to update this page Paskari 10:36, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

The page insect doesn't try to list them all - that's why there is no page list of insects or list of animals. What are the requirements for an animal to be on this page? Richard001 07:12, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
That it has a brain/neurons? =oP I like this page, and I find it very interesting. What I would really like to know is the neuron content of a Sperm Whale's brain, as it has the largest of all animal brains (9kg/20lbs). Although not the largest relative to its body size, which might be another interesting cross-reference, with both contributing to an article on how they relate to animal intelligence. -- (talk) 09:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC) mentions 250k neurons for the fruit fly. --Rainer Wasserfuhr (talk) 13:56, 25 March 2008 (UTC)


I think any comments on the numbers of neurons (for example, "varies by species") should be in the number column, not the picture column. Paskari (talk) 12:38, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

In the French version, I have chosen to include the hydra for the fourth animal species. The quoted source mentions that the study focused on the hydra which is not considered a jellyfish. Regards. Stefanos Stefanos 18:14, 1 October 2016 (UTC)


The numbers here are very approximative. A cat's cerebral cortex already contains 300'000'000 neurons, so the figure is even higher for the whole nervous system. See [Evolution of the brain and intelligence] for scientific data on the matter.

Beside, numeric fields in a sortable table should be entered withe {{nts|NNNNNN}} ex: {{nts|10000}} instead of 10,000. So that they get sorted correctly.

knd (talk) 14:27, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Added an "embryonic" label to the zebrafish line; the 10,000 number seems much too low for an adult vertebrate. There is a huge zebrafish neurology literature but I wasn't able to find a simple number for the cortex neuronal count; perhaps a specialist could help. -Anonymous, 6 March 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

According to reference [2], whales and elephants have on the order of 10 billion neurons, not 200 billion as listed in the table. Nasorenga (talk) 14:25, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

How is a chimpanzee's total number of neurons less than the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex? Bernd Jendrissek (talk) 19:38, 6 June 2012 (UTC)


Making a list of animals by number of neurons is a pretty daunting task alone, but does each and every one of the animals listed need a picture? Considering how large the images are, and how many millions of animals there are in the world, if this article continues to grow, the pictures might take up too much space. Maybe listing the pictures should be added to obscure animals only, and not just animals that everyone has seen at least ten times. By that, I mean just give an image for animals that are not commonly heard of, but keep the ones that are there already. Anyone agree? Disagree? Cloudy fox 001 (talk) 17:05, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea to me. Steve Dufour (talk) 17:51, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Most people will have seen a cat or a dog a few times, but as for the other 1,499,998 species? I bet most people aren't even aware of most of those. Bernd Jendrissek (talk) 19:38, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Any reason why humans should have a drawing instead of a picture? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:21, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Instead, compare neural mass to body mass

The article does not give any explanation as to why anyone would want to compare animals by the amount of neurons they have. What does a bigger number of neurons tell about the species? The underlying zero hypothesis would be that the more neurons the more intelligent the animal, but this of course isn't true. I've understood that a comparison that's more widely used would be that of neural tissue mass compared to total body mass. (This would bring to proportion eg. the difference between the mouse and the elephant.) This would be, in my opinion, a better topic for this article, as well. –Zinjixmaggir 08:00, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

the number of neurons an animal has could lead to insights into its behavior and nature. for example sheep have a brain that is large compared to the number of actual neurons. this is because their head butting behavior makes the sheeps brain require more padding. i believe i read somewhere that human males have a brain that is 10% larger in volume than females again, due to a little extra padding. but this makes no difference to iq between the sexes. a large number of neurons implies the potential for some form of neural activity. that activity could be problem solving, memory, complex senses such as eco location, the control of a large or complex body. this last makes the ratio between the number of neurons and body size a factor, but not a replacement for this topic. i wish this list had more entries. i cant find any similar lists on the internet. i am curious as to how many neurons some of the notably intelligent animals have. grizzly bear, African gray parrot, raven. how do all the animals that can recognize themselves in a mirror compare to each other? Gordian Plot (talk) 04:18, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Human picture

Shouldn't we get an actual picture of a human. The drawing looks out of place next to all the photos. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree. I don't see anything "classy" about the drawing. Jojalozzo 21:45, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Akha cropped.png

I propose we use whatever picture has been selected for the Human article. They have already hashed out the issues around it. The image has an inline comment:

"<!--The choice of image has been discussed at length. Don't change it without first obtaining consensus.-->"

(see Talk:Human#Lead image). Jojalozzo 13:23, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Default sort order

Could someone who knows abotu formatting actually make the list default to displaying by number of neurons? It's currently alphabetical by animal name. (talk) 22:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

According to Help:Sorting, It is not possible to make a table appear sorted by a certain column without the user clicking on it. By default, the rows of a table always appear in the same order as in the wikitext. If you want a table to appear sorted by a certain column, you must sort the wikitext itself in that order.. Basically what this means is that the table needs to be rearranged by hand in order to come out the way you want. As far as I'm concerned, you're welcome to do that if you feel like it. Looie496 (talk) 23:30, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Neuron counts in bird brains

Can anyone add figures for bird brains? I'm particularly looking for reference with neuron counts for pigeons and crows (or other corvids), but any common birds will help - there are none in the current article. Thanks in advance if you can help. p.r.newman (talk) 15:07, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't recall seeing any literature on that (and I've looked at a lot of literature on neuron counts), but if you want to search for some, I recommend Google Scholar as a tool. Looie496 (talk) 17:05, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
"I recommend Google Scholar..." That's where I live when I'm not here, unless I'm on the road to Mendeley. Thanks, though, Looie496 - I will keep digging. :-) Also realise I've been touching your pages elsewhere (eg Human Brain) - hope I don't become a nuisance! p.r.newman (talk) 19:30, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Update the neuron count for human?

Is the count for humans accurate? I came across this article, which says it is upwards of 80 billion. kml (talk) 22:27, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

OK, nevermind, I messed up sections. The figure given in the article seems in line with this article. kml (talk) 22:30, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Pigs, Cows, Sheep, Chickens

Any reason there are no numbers for pigs, cows, sheep or chicken? I'm wonder why they're not here because I would have thought their brains are the most readily available. Wegdf (talk) 05:20, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Fruit-fly neurons

I found conflicting numbers in the literature for Drosophila neurons, with some sources confirming the ~100,000 estimate, and other sources suggesting ~250,000. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brian Tomasik (talkcontribs) 15:12, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

The source you mentioned here actually says in its results section "the total number of cells is estimated as 95,000–110,000 at present. What is remarkable is that our value is less than half of the widely believed estimation (250,000)" So I am changing it to 100,000 in the table. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 20 October 2016 (UTC)


I'm interested about datas of more invertebrates, than are insects, especially for chelicerata group. There's no member of chelicerata group and it's large group both ancient and with a lot of new different evolution adaptations. Does exist data about these beings or not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vincislao Rossellini (talkcontribs) 13:00, 25 March 2014 (UTC)


Tunicates have nerves and neurons, according to the "Tunicate" wiki page. They do not, according to this wiki page.

Which page is wrong? It should be fixed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:BCB8:3660:6CED:4362:6F0F:D86D (talk) 02:44, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, they do have neurons. --Epipelagic (talk) 13:28, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

human neocortical neurons vs long finned whale dolphin thing

i dont understand how ~38 billion is more than 86 billion? (talk) 18:16, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

86 billion is the number in the WHOLE human brain, and humans have "only" 21 neocortical neurons compared to the 37 billions of this dolphin species. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DolphinSmile (talkcontribs) 03:33, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

Other dolphins

So it turns out humans are in 2nd place, pushed out by a funny looking whale that gets stuck trying to swim through sand. I'm curious about other dolphins though. Why do we know the neuron count for the long-finned pilot whale and not other closely related species? Is it because the long-finned pilot whale is preyed on by humans and therefore readily available for research? The more familiar bottlenose dolphin might have a similar neuron count and we certainly have plenty of specimens so whether they're higher or lower should be easy to find out. Soap 20:29, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

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Why are there no whales in the first counting?Klinfran (talk) 07:25, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Brain size difference male/female

Reference 55 mentions on page 160 that there is a 16% difference in brain sizes between males and females. This used to be on the wikipedia article, but was removed towards the end of 2017, and the reference was replaced by a 1957 study instead. Eventually this again was replaced by more modern studies, including the original 2007 mit paper- but the remark never made it back in.

I understand that this might be offensive to some people and has a bit of controversy around it, but I think 16% is significant enough to make it worth mentioning. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:14, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

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