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List of animals by number of neurons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brief comparisons of number of whole brain neurons (top) and cerebral cortex neurons (bottom) among five mammals.

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.

The whole human brain contains 86 billion neurons and roughly 16 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex.[1][2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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This is the human brain it's incredible to think that every person we've ever known ever come across ever heard about in the history of our species who anyone was can be encapsulated in the singular organ with which you see in front of you it's a beautiful system that takes a really good chunk of our energy up to a quarter of our calorie intake per day goes into our brains but what makes a human brain unique it's not the largest brain and in fact how does it work scientists used to think that the brain was "as it is" so you're born with it and you can't change it whereas nowadays we're speaking of the human brain like it's a muscle it's called neuroplasticity it actually means that the shape and the small intricacies of the brain can be changed. Parts can be enlarged by your activities your thoughts what you use in fact the simple fact of juggling can actually cause quite a pronounced difference to the insides of your brain but what is inside our brains what makes them so unique well it's all to do with the cerebral cortex this is an area of gray matter which I'll draw here that runs along the outside surface of our cerebrum other animals have a cerebral cortex except ours has a much denser amount of neurons from the huge amount of power drawn by our brain each day an incredible portion is burnt by this thin layer of neurons alone now the cerebral cortex is usually described as being in different areas we call them lobes that perform higher-level function however use these lobes with caution you see the brain works as a single unit to produce speech you need input from a number of areas not just production regions but motor regions sensory regions for example to produce the sound clearly the same that we only use 10% of our brains therefore is complete rubbish this area at their front is called the frontal lobe where human characteristics come from such as our drive and motivation consideration for others things that make us tick we know some of this because people that have injuries or strokes in this area can lose empathy and motivation this area's also we make the decisions as whether or not action is good or bad so our conscience seems to stem from this region as well and directly behind it we have the area called the parietal lobe some traditional senses like touch, texture detection are computed in this region but working out things like hard or light touch and object manipulation this region helps us understand all these inputs from our tactile and other senses it also includes our perceptions of temperature and pain and then at the very back we have the occipital lobe this is where our vision comes from the occipital lobe converts light received by the sensors on our eyes into an understanding of the visual world around us if you knock at the back of your head you see stars and this is due to the impacts to this region. The temporal lobe, shown here, does some complex calculations for example visual memories associating someone you see on the street for the person you know who your memories recognizing objects determining if you like or dislike a smell, or a song, so our sensors pick up information and the temporal lobe processes these linking them with your memories and thoughts it also helps record and hold long-term memories so although our brains on the largest in the animal kingdom for example ours is around one-and-a-half kilograms or three pounds the same weight as a dolphin's whereas sperm whales have got brains five to six times larger than ours in addition orcas, blue whales, humpbacks all have larger brains as do some land animals like elephants but we have by far the largest cerebral cortex compared to the size of our brain. The thickness and density of this grey matter or the cerebral cortex is far larger than that of other animals which means we have more neurons in the region as I've described before it means more ability to process conscious thoughts more abilities to process complex memories spatial understandings intelligence personality planning organization language skills it requires a large amount of energy that you put each day to run it which is why we cook a lot of our meals using fire or heat - pre-digesting in our foods which assists us in absorbing nutrients but we also eat effectively far more calories per day than other animals who have gatherers hunters or feeders on raw food this is why we as human beings can feed these extra calories to our hungry hungry brains now yes we still have a lot to learn about our brains but we're really starting to understand the beauty and differentiating factors of our species specific cerebral areas were compared to other species and that's what makes us different and that's what makes us unique



Neurons are the cells that transmit information in an animal's 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

All numbers for neurons but Caenorhabditis and all numbers for synapses are estimations.

Name Neurons in the brain/whole nervous system Synapses Details Image Source
Sponge 0 [3]
Trichoplax 0 [4]
Ciona intestinalis larva (sea squirt) 231 8617 (central nervous system only) [5]


Asplanchna brightwellii (rotifer) about 200 Brain only [7]
Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworm) 302 ~7,500 [8]
Jellyfish 5,600 Hydra vulgaris (H. attenuate) [9]
Megaphragma mymaripenne 7,400 [10]
Box jellyfish 8,700–17,500 adult Tripedalia cystophora (8 mm diameter) – does not include 1000 neurons in each of the four rhopalia [11]
Medicinal leech 10,000 [12]
Pond snail 11,000 [13]
Sea slug 18,000 [14]
Amphioxus 20,000 central nervous system only [15]


Fruit fly 250,000 < 1×10^7 [17]


Larval zebrafish 100,000 [19]
Lobster 100,000 [20]
Ant 250,000 Varies per species [21]


Honey bee 960,000 ~1×10^9 [23]
Cockroach 1,000,000 [24]
Adult zebrafish ~10,000,000 cells (neurons + other) [25]
Frog 16,000,000 [26]
Naked mole-rat 26,880,000 [27]
Smoky shrew 36,000,000 [28]
Short-tailed shrew 52,000,000
Blarina carolinensisPCSL20933B.jpg
Hottentot golden mole 65,000,000 [29]
House mouse 71,000,000 ~1×10^12 [30]
Nile crocodile 80,500,000 [31]
Golden hamster 90,000,000 [30]
Hairy-tailed mole 124,000,000 [29]
Eastern rock elephant shrew 129,000,000 [29]
Star-nosed mole 131,000,000 [28]
Zebra finch 131,000,000 Brain only
Taeniopygia guttata -Karratha, Pilbara, Western Australia, Australia -male-8 (2).jpg
Four-toed elephant shrew 157,000,000 [29]
Eurasian blackcap 157,000,000 [32]
Goldcrest 164,000,000 [32]
Brown rat 200,000,000 ~4.48×10^11 [33]
Guyenne spiny rat 202,000,000 [29]
Eastern mole 204,000,000 [28]
Red junglefowl 221,000,000 [32]
Great tit 226,000,000 [32]
Green-rumped parrotlet 227,000,000 [32]
Guinea pig 240,000,000 [30]
Gray mouse lemur 254,710,000 [34]
Common treeshrew 261,000,000 [35]
Pigeon 310,000,000 Brain only [32]
Budgerigar 322,000,000 [32]
Common blackbird 379,000,000 [32]
Ferret 404,000,000 [36]
Cockatiel 453,000,000 [32]
Banded mongoose 454,000,000 [36]
Gray squirrel 453,660,000 [27]
Prairie dog 473,940,000 [27]
Common starling 483,000,000 [32]
European rabbit 494,200,000 [27]
Octopus 500,000,000 [37]
Western tree hyrax 505,000,000 [29]
Common marmoset 636,000,000 [35]
Eastern rosella 642,000,000 [32]
Barn owl 690,000,000 [32]
Monk parakeet 697,000,000 [32]
Azure-winged magpie 741,000,000 [32]
Rock hyrax 756,000,000 [29]
Cat 760,000,000 ~1×10^13 [38]
Black-rumped agouti 857,000,000 [30]
Magpie 897,000,000 [32]
Common hill myna 906,000,000 [32]
Northern greater galago 936,000,000 [35]
Western jackdaw 968,000,000 [32]
Eurasian jay 1,085,000,000 [32]
Alexandrine parakeet 1,096,000,000 [32]
Tanimbar corella 1,161,000,000 [32]
Emu 1,335,000,000 [32]
Three-striped night monkey 1,468,000,000 [35]
Rook 1,509,000,000 [32]
Grey parrot 1,566,000,000 [32]
Capybara 1,600,000,000 [30]
Sulphur-crested cockatoo 2,122,000,000 [32]
Raccoon 2,148,000,000 [36]
Kea 2,149,000,000 [32]
Raven 2,171,000,000 Brain only [32]
Domestic pig 2,220,000,000 [39]
Dog 2,253,000,000 [36]
Springbok 2,720,000,000 [39]
Blesbok 3,060,000,000 [39]
Blue-and-yellow macaw 3,136,000,000 Brain only [32]
Common squirrel monkey 3,246,000,000 [35]
Crab-eating macaque 3,440,000,000 [34]
Tufted capuchin 3,691,000,000 [35]
Bonnet macaque 3,780,000,000 [34]
Striped hyena 3,885,000,000 [36]
Lion 4,667,000,000 [36]
Greater kudu 4,910,000,000 [39]
Rhesus macaque 6,376,000,000 [35]
Brown bear 9,586,000,000 [36]
Giraffe 10,750,000,000 [39]
Yellow baboon 10,950,000,000 [34]
Chimpanzee 28,000,000,000 [40]
Orangutan 32,600,000,000 [41]
Gorilla 33,400,000,000 [41]
Human 86,000,000,000 ~1.5×10^14 Synapses for average adult [42][43][44]
African elephant 257,000,000,000 [45][46]

Cerebral cortex

Non-mammals are included in this list because, although only mammals have a cerebral cortex, the pallium of reptiles and birds is functionally similar to the mammalian cortex and is therefore also frequently referred to as "cortex".

Name Neurons in the cerebral cortex Details Image Source
Naked mole-rat 6,150,000 H. glaber [27]
Smoky shrew 10,000,000 Sorex fumeus [29]
Northern short-tailed shrew 12,000,000 Blarina brevicauda [29]
House mouse 14,000,000 Mus musculus [29]
Hairy-tailed mole 16,000,000 Parascalops breweri [29]
Star-nosed mole 17,000,000 Condylura cristata [29]
Golden hamster 17,000,000 Mesocricetus auratus [29]
Hottentot golden mole 22,000,000 Amblysomus hottentotus [29]
Gray mouse lemur 22,310,000 Microcebus murinus [34]
Hedgehog 24,000,000 Subfamily Erinaceinae, unknown genus and species [47]
Guyenne spiny rat 26,000,000 Proechimys cayennensis [29]
Eastern rock elephant shrew 26,000,000 Elephantulus myurus [29]
Eeastern mole 27,000,000 Scalopus aquaticus [29]
Opossum 27,000,000 Didelphis virginiana [47]
Brown Rat 31,000,000 Rattus norvegicus [29]
Four-toed elephant shrew 34,000,000 Petrodromus tetradactylus [29]
Ferret 39,000,000 Mustela putorius furo [36]
Guinea pig 43,510,000 Cavia porcellus [27]
Eurasian blackcap 52,000,000 Sylvia atricapilla [32]
Prairie dog 53,770,000 Cynomys sp. [27]
Zebra finch 55,000,000 Taeniopygia guttata [32]
Common treeshrew 60,000,000 Tupaia glis [29]
Red junglefowl 61,000,000 Gallus gallus [32]
Goldcrest 64,000,000 Regulus regulus [32]
European rabbit 71,450,000 O. cuniculus [27]
Rock dove 72,000,000 Columba livia [32]
Eastern gray squirrel 77,330,000 S. carolinensis [27]
Great tit 83,000,000 Parus major [32]
Western tree hyrax 99,000,000 Dendrohyrax dorsalis [29]
Green-rumped parrotlet 103,000,000 Forpus passerinus [32]
Black-rumped agouti 113,000,000 Dasyprocta prymnolopha [2]
Banded mongoose 116,000,000 Mungos mungo [36]
Common blackbird 136,000,000 Turdus merula [32]
Budgerigar 149,000,000 Melopsittacus undulatus [32]
Rock hyrax 198,000,000 Procavia capensis [29]
Northern greater galago 226,000,000 Otolemur garnettii [29]
Common starling 226,000,000 Sturnus vulgaris [32]
Common marmoset 245,000,000 Callithrix jacchus [29]
Cat 250,000,000 Felis catus or Felis silvestris catus [36]
Brown bear 251,000,000 Ursus arctos [36]
Cockatiel 258,000,000 Nymphicus hollandicus [32]
Capybara 306,500,000 Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris [27]
Tarsius 310,000,000 Genus Tarsius, unknown species [48]
Eastern rosella 333,000,000 Platycercus eximius [32]
Goeldi's marmoset 357,130,000 Callimico goeldii [34]
Monk parakeet 396,000,000 Myiopsitta monachus [32]
Springbok 396,900,000 Antidorcas marsupialis [39]
Azure-winged magpie 400,000,000 Cyanopica cyanus [32]
Common hill myna 410,000,000 Gracula religiosa [32]
Domesticated pig 425,000,000 Sus scrofa [49]
Barn owl 437,000,000 Tyto alba [32]
Emu 439,000,000 Dromaius novaehollandiae [32]
Three-striped night monkey 442,000,000 Aotus trivirgatus [2]
Eurasian magpie 443,000,000 Pica pica [32]
Raccoon 453,000,000 Procyon lotor [50]
Western jackdaw 492,000,000 Coloeus monedula [32]
Striped hyena 495,000,000 Hyaena hyaena [36]
Eurasian jay 529,000,000 Garrulus glandarius [32]
Dog 530,000,000 Canis lupus familiaris [36]
Lion 545,000,000 Panthera leo [36]
Blesbok 570,670,000 Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi [39]
Alexandrine parakeet 575,000,000 Psittacula eupatria [32]
Tanimbar corella 599,000,000 Cacatua goffiniana [32]
Gracile capuchin monkey 650,000,000 Genus Cebus, unknown species [51]
Greater kudu 762,570,000 Tragelaphus strepsiceros [39]
Crab-eating macaque 800,960,000 Macaca fascicularis [34]
Rook 820,000,000 Corvus frugilegus [32]
Grey parrot 850,000,000 Psittacus erithacus [32]
Tufted capuchin 1,100,000,000 Sapajus apella [2]
Sulphur-crested cockatoo 1,135,000,000 Cacatua galerita [32]
Horse 1,200,000,000 Equus ferus caballus [28]
Raven 1,200,000,000 Corvus corax [32]
Kea 1,281,000,000 Nestor notabilis [32]
Common squirrel monkey 1,340,000,000 Saimiri sciureus [29]
Bonnet macaque 1,660,000,000 Macaca radiata [34]
Rhesus macaque 1,710,000,000 Macaca mulatta [29]
Giraffe 1,730,000,000 Giraffa camelopardalis [39]
Blue and yellow macaw 1,900,000,000 Ara ararauna [32]
Guenon 2,500,000,000 Genus Cercopithecus, unknown species [48]
Yellow baboon 2,880,000,000 Papio cynocephalus [34]
African elephant 5,600,000,000 Loxodonta africana [45]
Harp seal 6,100,000,000 Pagophilus groenlandicus [52]
Chimpanzee 6,200,000,000 Pan troglodytes [13]
Orangutan 8,900,000,000 Genus Pongo, unknown species [41]
Gorilla 9,100,000,000 Genus Gorilla, unknown species [41]
False killer whale 10,500,000,000 Pseudorca crassidens [28]
Common minke whale 12,800,000,000 Balaenoptera acutorostrata [53]
Harbor porpoise 14,900,000,000 Phocoena phocoena [52]
Fin whale 15,000,000,000 Balaenoptera physalus [54]
Human 16,000,000,000 Homo sapiens: (For average adult)
"The human cerebral cortex, with an average 1233 g and 16 billion neurons, is slightly below expectations for a primate brain of 1.5 kg, while the human cerebellum, at 154 g and 69 billion neurons, matches or even slightly exceeds the expected"
Long-finned pilot whale 37,200,000,000 Globicephala melas: "For the first time, we show that a species of dolphin has more neocortical neurons than any mammal studied to date including humans." [56]

See also


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