List of animals by number of neurons

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This is a list of representative animals by the number of neurons in their whole nervous system and the number of neurons in their brain (for those with a brain). These numbers are estimates derived by multiplying the density of neurons in a particular animal by the average volume of the animal's brain.

Overview[edit]

Neurons are the cells that transmit information in an animals nervous system so that it can sense stimuli from its environment and behave accordingly. Not all animals have neurons; Trichoplax and sponges lack nerve cells altogether.

Neurons may be packed to form structures such as the brain of vertebrates or the neural ganglions of insects.

The number of neurons and their relative abundance in different parts of the brain is a determinant of neural function and, consequently, of behavior.

Whole nervous system[edit]

Name Neurons in the brain/whole nervous system Details Image Source
Sponge 0
Sponge.JPG
Trichoplax 0
Trichoplax mic.jpg
[1]
Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworm) 302 ~ 5,000 synapses
Adult Caenorhabditis elegans.jpg
[2]
Jellyfish 800
Jelly cc11.jpg
[3]
Medicinal leech 10,000
Svømmende blodigle.JPG
[4]
Pond snail 11,000
Common snail.jpg
[5]
Sea slug 18,000
Aplysia californica.jpg
[6]
Fruit fly 100,000 ~ 107 synapses
Drosophila melanogaster - side (aka).jpg
[7]
Larval zebrafish 100,000 [8]
Lobster 100,000
Lobster 04.jpg
[9]
Ant 250,000 Varies per species
Ant head closeup.jpg
[10]

[11]

Honey bee 960,000 ~ 109 synapses
Bees Collecting Pollen 2004-08-14.jpg
[12]
Cockroach 1,000,000
Cockroachcloseup.jpg
[13]
Adult zebrafish ~10,000,000 cells (neurons + other) [14]
Frog 16,000,000
Caerulea3 crop.jpg
[15]
Mouse 71,000,000 ~ 1011 synapses
Mouse.jpg
[16]
Rat 200,000,000 4.48 × 1011 Rattus norvegicus 1.jpg [17]
Octopus 500,000,000
Octopus2.jpg
[18]
Cat 1,000,000,000 1012–1013 synapses
Cat2.jpg
[19]
Common Chimpanzee 6,700,000,000 Schimpanse Zoo Leipzig.jpg [20]
Elephant 23,000,000,000
ThreeElephants.jpg
[21]
Human 85,000,000,000 For average adult; 1014–1015 synapses
Akha cropped hires.JPG
[21]

Cerebral cortex[edit]

Only mammals appear in this list, because only mammals have a cerebral cortex (although the pallium of reptiles and birds is also frequently referred to as "cortex".)


Name Neurons in the cerebral cortex Details Image Source
Mouse 4,000,000 Genus Mus, musculus
Mouse.jpg
[5]
Rat 15,000,000[22]
21,000,000[23]
Genus Rattus, unknown species
Rat diabetic.jpg
Hedgehog 24,000,000 Subfamily Erinaceinae, unknown genus and species
Igel01.jpg
[22]
Opossum 27,000,000 Family Didelphidae, unknown genus and species
Opossum 2.jpg
[22]
Dog 160,000,000 Canis lupus familiaris
YellowLabradorLooking new.jpg
[5]
Cat 300,000,000 Felis catus or Felis silvestris catus
Cat mouth closed.jpg
[5]
Tarsius 310,000,000 Genus Tarsius, unknown species
Tarsius tarsier Tandurusa zoo.JPG
[24]
Squirrel monkey 430,000,000 Genus Saimiri, unknown species
Saimiri sciureus-1 Luc Viatour.jpg
[25]
Rhesus macaque 480,000,000 Macaca mulatta
Macaca mulatta in Guiyang.jpg
[22]
Gracile capuchin monkey 600,000,000–700,000,000 Genus Cebus, unknown species
Capuchin Costa Rica.jpg
[25]
Horse 1,200,000,000 Equus ferus caballus
Nokota Horses cropped.jpg
[26]
Night monkey 1,500,000,000 Genus Aotus, unknown species
Panamanian night monkey.jpg
[26]
Fin whale 1,500,000,000 Balaenoptera physalus
LMazzuca Fin Whale.jpg
[21]
Guenon 2,500,000,000 Genus Cercopithecus, unknown species
FranceNormandieChamprepusCercopithecusDiana.jpg
[24]
Pilot whale 3,000,000,000 Genus Globicephala, unknown species
Globicephala melas pilot whale by dirk klaus.jpg
[21]
Gorilla 4,300,000,000 Genus Gorilla, unknown species
Male gorilla in SF zoo.jpg
[25]
Bottlenose dolphin 5,800,000,000 Genus Tursiops, unknown species
Bottlenose Dolphin KSC04pd0178.jpg
[26]
Chimpanzee 5,500,000,000[24]
6,200,000,000[5]
Genus Pan, unknown species
Lightmatter chimp.jpg
False killer whale 10,500,000,000 Pseudorca crassidens
False killer whale 890002.jpg
[26]
African elephant 11,000,000,000 Genus Loxodonta, unknown species
Elephant in Botswana.JPG
[26]
Human 19,000,000,000–23,000,000,000 For average adult
"The average number of neocortical neurons was 19 billion in female brains and 23 billion in male brains.
Akha cropped hires.JPG
[21]
[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schierwater B (December 2005). "My favorite animal, Trichoplax adhaerens". BioEssays 27 (12): 1294–1302. doi:10.1002/bies.20320. PMID 16299758. 
  2. ^ White, J. G; E. Southgate, J. N Thomson, S. Brenner (1986-11-12). "The Structure of the Nervous System of the Nematode Caenorhabditis Elegans". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 314 (1165): 1–340. doi:10.1098/rstb.1986.0056. ISSN 0962-8436. PMID 22462104. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  3. ^ Herculano-Houzel, S. & Lent, R. (2005). "Isotropic fractionator: a simple, rapid method for the quantification of total cell and neuron numbers in the brain.". J Neurosci 25 (10): 2518–2521. 
  4. ^ Kuffler SW and Potter DD (1964). "Glia in the leech central nervous system: physiological properties and neuron-glia relationship". J. Neurophysiol. 27: 290–320. PMID 14129773. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Roth G, Dicke U (May 2005). "Evolution of the brain and intelligence". Trends Cogn. Sci. (Regul. Ed.) 9 (5): 250–7. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2005.03.005. PMID 15866152.  as PDF
  6. ^ Cash D, Carew TJ (1989). "A quantitative analysis of the development of the central nervous system in juvenile Aplysia californica". J Neurobiol. 20: 25–47. doi:10.1002/neu.480200104. PMID 2921607. 
  7. ^ Random House, Inc. Academic Resources | Titles of Academic Interest for Universities and Colleges
  8. ^ Scientists Capture All The Neurons Firing Across A Fish's Brain On Video Popular Science, 19 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Anatomy & Biology". The Lobster Institute. University of Maine. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ John and Sarah Tefl. "Interesting Facts About Ants". Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Ant Fun Facts". Retrieved December 23, 2010. 
  12. ^ Menzel R, Giurfa M (February 2001). "Cognitive architecture of a mini-brain: the honeybee". Trends Cogn. Sci. 5 (2): 62. doi:10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01601-6. PMID 11166636. 
  13. ^ "A Strange Approach to Social Interaction, and Butterflies". Anthropology.net. January 10, 2007. Archived from the original on January 13, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ Hinsch, K. & Zupanc, G. K. H. (2007). "Generation and long-term persistence of new neurons in the adult zebrafish brain: A quantitative analysis.". Neuroscience 146 (2): 679–696. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.01.071. 
  15. ^ Frog Brain Neuron Number
  16. ^ Herculano-Houzel, S, Mota B, Lent R (2006). "Cellular scaling rules for rodent brains.". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103 (32): 12138–12143. 
  17. ^ Herculano-Houzel, S. & Lent, R. (2005). "Isotropic fractionator: a simple, rapid method for the quantification of total cell and neuron numbers in the brain.". J Neurosci 25 (10): 2518–2521. 
  18. ^ Brain Facts and Figures
  19. ^ The Race to Reverse Engineer the Human Brain
  20. ^ Hart, Benjamin L.; Hart, Lynette A.; Pinter-Wollman, Noa (2008). "Large brains and cognition: Where do elephants fit in?". Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (32): 86–98. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c d e Herculano-Houzel S (2009). "The human brain in numbers: a linearly scaled-up primate brain". Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 3: 31. doi:10.3389/neuro.09.031.2009. PMC 2776484. PMID 19915731. 
  22. ^ a b c d Fasolo, Aldo (30 November 2011). The Theory of Evolution and Its Impact. Springer. p. 182. ISBN 978-88-470-1973-7. 
  23. ^ Korbo L, Pakkenberg B, Ladefoged O, Gundersen HJ, Arlien-Søborg P, Pakkenberg H (February 1990). "An efficient method for estimating the total number of neurons in rat brain cortex". J. Neurosci. Methods 31 (2): 93–100. doi:10.1016/0165-0270(90)90153-7. PMID 2181205. 
  24. ^ a b c Quarton, Gardner C.; Melnechuk, Theodore; Schmitt, Francis O. (1967). The neurosciences. Rockefeller University Press. p. 732. GGKEY:DF21HXQKLNX. 
  25. ^ a b c Hofman, Michel A.; Falk, Dean (2 March 2012). Evolution of the Primate Brain: From Neuron to Behavior. Elsevier. p. 424. ISBN 978-0-444-53867-3. 
  26. ^ a b c d e Hofman, Michel A.; Falk, Dean (2 March 2012). Evolution of the Primate Brain: From Neuron to Behavior. Elsevier. p. 328. ISBN 978-0-444-53860-4. 
  27. ^ Steven M. Platek, Julian Paul Keenan, and Todd K. Shackelford (2009). Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience. p. 139.