STATES CHRONICLE – It seems that animals proved size matters, when it come to the brain, of course. A group of researchers have conducted a study in which they gave various mammals a box filled with a treat. The trick was that the box was closed, and the animals had to figure out a way to open it. The conclusion of the researchers was that the animals with a bigger brain in proportion to their size are more capable of solving such puzzles than those with s smaller one.
A professor of integrative biology at the State University of Michigan, Kay Holekamp, stated that there was always a presumption of a link between the size of the brain and the level of intelligence in an animal, but there were no studies to back up the information, until now.
In order to scientifically prove that size actually matters, Holekamp and her team designed a study that, once applied to different mammals, would answer the question if animals with bigger brains are more intelligent that those with a smaller one.
The experiment she and her team devised was rather simple. The animals were given a box, similar to a cage, which was locked. Inside the box, the researchers placed a treat that would be most appealing to the animal that was tested. The locking mechanism of the box consisted of a lever that should have been lifted and then pulled in order for the mammal to gain access to the food.
They tested differently sized mammals with various brain proportions. Upon analyzing the results, they found that animals, like the polar bear or the raccoon who are known for their wits and who have a large brain managed to free the caged goodies much faster than the mongoose or the meerkats.
Upon looking at the footage from the experiment, Holekamp noticed that the bears actually seemed like they were thinking of a solution to their problem, while the big felines, such as the tiger, resorted to violence and angrily beat the cage until if finally opened.
The experiment involved 39 mammal species and a total of 140 animals that were housed in a zoo. The rate of retrieval success was of only 35 percent. As a comparison, 70 percent of the bears managed to get and eat the food presented to them in the latched cage. The mongoose or the meerkats did not succeed in the task presented to them.
The tigers and bears proved once more that brains are better than raw force, and the animals proved size matters when it comes to the brain.
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