Dog owners, this will confirm what you always thought. And cat owners, prepare to extend your claws: Scientists at Oxford University claim canines are smarter than felines, the (London) Daily Telegraph reported Monday.
And the reason, according to the researchers, is that dogs are more social animals and therefore have bigger brains than the more solitary-inclined cats.
The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, charted the evolutionary history of various mammals’ brains over 60 million years and found a link between the size of an animal’s brain in relation to its body and how socially active it was.
Dr. Susanne Shultz, who led the research, told The Telegraph, “Dogs have always been regarded as the more social animals while cats like to get on with their own thing alone. But it appears that interaction is good for the brain and extends to other species, like ourselves…
“This study overturns the long-held belief that brain size has increased across all mammals. Instead, groups of highly social species have undergone much more rapid increases than more solitary species.”
And here's one more thing to bark about: “All dogs are quite good at solving problems," Shultz added, " which gives credence to the traditional image of the cunning fox which is a member of the same family.”