It’s a dog’s world and we’re all just living in it! A new study from researchers at the University of Salford, in Manchester, England finally put a highly debated question to rest — canines are, in fact, smarter than cats.
The 2017 study conducted by an international team of researchers examined the brain’s outer layer of multiple carnivorous animals, including dogs and cats. The researchers studied eight different meat-eating animals including the brown bear, a ferret, raccoon, dog, cat banded mongoose, lion and striped hyena, to see which animals that eat prey have the most cortical neurons. (Meaning they have more brain power.)
The study shows that dogs have the most neurons of any carnivore, despite not having the biggest brains, leading to the analyzation that pups are smarter than felines. Dogs have around 530 million neurons, which calculates their behavior, versus the 250 million found in cats.
Cats, meanwhile, have roughly the same amount of neurons as brown bears.
“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,” neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel from Vanderbilt University noted in the study.
She added: “I’m 100 per cent a dog person, but, with that disclaimer, 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.”
The study — which is published in the science journal Animal Cognition — also identifies 47 different gestures that a pooch uses in an attempt to communicate with their human. Scientists managed to decode what 19 of them meant and revealed the meaning in a dictionary form.
See the decoding of dog’s actions below!
Using its snout and head to move your hand on to its body
Holding one paw in the air while sitting
Turning its head from side-to-side, looking between a human and another object
Standing on its hind legs
Using its mouth to throw a toy forwards
Rolling over in front of you
Pressing its nose against you or another object
Licking you or an object
Lifting a paw and placing it on you
Gently biting your arm
Short shuffles along the ground while rolling over
Lifting a back leg while laying on its side
Rubbing its head against you while leaning against you
Play With Me:
Briefly touching a person with a single paw
Diving headfirst under a person or object
Reaching a paw towards an object of interest
Wiggling its body underneath a person or object
Open the Door for Me:
Lifting both paws off the ground and placing them on its owner or a nearby object
Jumping up and down, either onto an object or not, while in the same location.