What would happen if you had two brains instead of one? Would you be able to solve problems twice as fast or perform tasks twice as well? This is exactly what happens when animals have multiple brains.
Animals with multiple brains include octopuses, cephalopods (squid), and even humans. The human brain has around 100 billion neurons, whereas the brains of other species contain millions of neurons.
What animal has multiple brains?
- Leeches – 32 brains
- Giant Pacific Octopus – 9 brains
- Silkworm Moth – 11 brains
- Squid – 3 brains
- Mosquitoes – 3 brains
- Cuttlefish – 3 brains
- Grasshoppers – 3 brains
- Bumblebees – 3 brains
- Turtles – 2 brains
- Earthworm – 2 brains
- Cockroaches – 2 brains
- Gastropods ( snails or slugs ) – 2 brains
Table of Contents
Animals With Multiple Brains
Leeches – 32 brains
Leech’s brains are actually pretty impressive for an invertebrate. They’re about the size of a pea and contain around 400 neurons (compared to our 100 billion). In fact, there are more than 500 different types of neurons in a single leech.
A leech needs at least 32 brains to survive. That’s because each brain controls a specific part of the body. Without a certain number of brains, the leech will not function properly.
Why do leeches need 32 brains?
There are various theories on why leeches require so much brainpower. One theory suggests that having a high number of neurons allows leeches to make quick decisions when faced with stressful situations.
Another explanation points out that extra brains allow leeches to create their own environment in the ocean so that they can live comfortably. Others believe that having more brains slows down aging processes in leeches.
A third idea proposes that it’s the lack of a central nervous system that makes leeches unique; they use their brains to help them swim instead of using nerves. As far as we know, only leeches have used this method.
Giant Pacific Octopus – 9 brains
Does the giant Pacific octopus have 9 brains?
The giant Pacific octopus is often considered to be among the most intelligent marine creatures. It uses its brains to solve problems, escape from predators, avoid danger, search for food, and find mates.
Octopuses don’t have any real social structure like mammals do. Instead, they communicate through chemical signals. But these chemicals can transmit emotions just as effectively as words and they have two eyes.
For example, researchers found that female octopuses were attracted to males who smelled more strongly. So, the male octopus needed to smell really strong in order to attract females. He could tell his scent was stronger by tasting it.
Octopuses are also very curious. If someone comes into the aquarium, they may want to investigate what’s going on. This means that octopuses must pay attention to everything that happens around them.
To keep track of all the events happening around them, octopuses use their brains. They have nine brains that move the legs and tail.
Silkworm Moth – 11 brains
Do silkworm moths have brains? The silkworm moth has been known for many years to have 11 distinct brain lobes, but did they ever have brains before?
Scientists think that the silkworm moth evolved from a common ancestor with butterflies, which have a smaller number of brain lobes. However, the butterfly brain isn’t organized into separate lobes. It’s one big mass of tissue.
The silkworm moth also shares some characteristics with ants. For instance, both species have two antennae, six eyes, and three pairs of wings.
However, the silkworm moth doesn’t have a heart or lungs. And it lacks blood vessels, too. The silkworm moth has a brain about 1/10th the size of a human brain. However, the moth’s brain is still capable of learning and remembering things.
Squid – 3 brains
Squid does indeed have three brains, each one responsible for different functions. The first brain controls the squid’s body movement, while the second brain controls its eyesight.
And lastly, the third brain controls what the squid eats. Each of these three brains has about 2 million neurons connected together.
The squid brain has three distinct parts: the cerebral ganglion, the optic lobe, and the pedal lobes. The cerebral ganglion contains the central nervous system and controls all other functions. The optic lobe processes visual information, while the pedal lobes process tactile information.
The squid brain is about 1/10th the size of a human brain. This means that they have fewer neurons and synapses, and therefore cannot process information as fast.
However, they do have a larger number of glial cells which help them to communicate with each other.
Mosquitoes – 3 brains
A mosquito brain is about 1/1000th the size of a human brain. The brain of a mosquito has only 100 million neurons compared to the 10 billion neurons found in a human brain.
However, mosquitoes are able to fly, which requires much less energy than walking, so they have evolved smaller brains for flying.
Mosquitoes are capable of learning from past experiences. They use smell to find food and water, and they also learn where predators live. This makes them smart insects!
The mosquito brain has three main parts: the antennae, the maxillary palps, and the proboscis. The antennae are used for sensing smells, while the maxillary palps are used for tasting food. The proboscis is used for sucking blood from animals.
Cuttlefish – 3 brains
The brain of a cuttlefish is located in the head, which is made up of two parts: the upper part contains the eyes, and the lower part contains the mouth.
The brain of a cuttlefish is also called cephalopod and is composed of three sections: the cerebral ganglion, the optic lobes, and the cerebellum.
A cuttlefish brain is about the size of a walnut. The cuttlebone is made up of calcium carbonate and has no blood vessels. Cuttlefish brains are used for hunting and sensing prey.
Cuttlefish is one of the smartest animals in the world. They are able to solve complex mathematical equations, navigate mazes, and recognize themselves in mirrors. However, they are not the most intelligent animal. That honor goes to octopuses.
Cuttlefish brains are about half the size of human brains, which means they are much smaller than other animals’ brains.
This makes sense since cuttlefish live in shallow waters where they need to be able to move quickly to avoid predators. They also have only one eye, which limits what they can see.
Grasshoppers – 3 brains
Grasshopper brains are composed of a nervous system similar to humans, which includes a central brain connected to ganglia containing nerve cells and sensory neurons.
These ganglia also contain large numbers of glial cells (non-neuronal), which help regulate the activity of neurons.
The largest ganglion is called the metathoracic ganglion, and it contains about 15 million neurons with a total length of around 2 cm.
The grasshopper brain is an area of the reptile brain that deals with survival and hunger. This part of the brain is responsible for the lizard’s fight or flight response. When we experience stress from our daily lives, we tend to become agitated and lose focus.
Grasshopper has three pairs of legs, two antennae, one pair of wings, and one pair of eyes. There are about 20,000 neurons in each grasshopper ganglion. This means that there are about 60,000 neurons in all three ganglia.
The grasshopper brain size is about 1/3 of the human brain size. This means that they need less food to survive, so they can spend more time foraging insects and plants. They also have a smaller stomach, which makes them eat faster and digest much easier.
Bumblebees – 3 brains
Bumblebees do have a brain, however, they don’t use it for much besides instinctual behaviors and basic learning. When faced with new situations, they are able to adapt based on past experiences rather than create new memories.
A bumblebee has three brains. The first one controls the wings, which allows them to fly. The second brain controls the antennae, which allows them to find food. And finally, the third brain controls the stingers, which they use to defend themselves against predators.
A bumblebee brain is about 1/10th of an inch long, which is smaller than human hair. Bumblebees have small brains compared to other insects, but they still have some of the best memories among all animals. They remember flowers from past visits and use them for future pollination.
Turtles – 2 brains
Turtles have two brains. The first brain is located in the head and controls the eyes, ears, mouth, and other senses. The second brain is located in the neck region and controls the legs, tail, and other body parts.
The brain of a turtle is much like ours, except for one big difference: they don’t have any bones. Their skulls are made up of cartilage instead of bone. This means that their skulls are flexible and can change shape to adapt to different situations.
A turtle has a small brain for its body size. The average human brain weighs about 1,300 grams while a large tortoise brain weighs up to 700 grams.
This means that a human brain is about 20 times heavier than a tortoise brain. However, the brains of humans and other mammals are much larger than those of reptiles.
Turtles have the largest brains out of all reptiles, which helps them survive in cold climates such as Alaska. The larger their brain, the better they can calculate risks when traveling through frozen waters.
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Earthworm – 2 brains
Yes, earthworms do have brains! They use them to help them navigate through the soil. Earthworms are also known for storing food in their bodies.
Earthworms do have two brains. The first brain controls the body, while the second one controls the head. This is why earthworms move backward when they want to go forward.
The earthworm’s brain is called the “buccal ganglia” which is located between the mouth and esophagus. This area contains neurons that control the worm’s movement. Earthworms have about 302 neurons!
Earthworms have a small brain size compared to other animals. They use their tiny brains to find food, avoid predators, and mate. However, they do have some unique behavior patterns. All earthworm species have a pair of eyes at the front end of their bodies. Other than that, they look like worms.
Cockroaches – 2 brains
Roaches have two brains because they need both sides of their brain to survive. The left side controls movement, while the right side controls emotions. If one side dies, the other takes over.
They use them for navigation, learning, and mating. The brain consists of about 1 million neurons that communicate with each other through synapses. Cockroaches also have a primitive immune system that protects them from bacteria and parasites.
Cockroaches are very intelligent animals. They can learn new things quickly, recognize different objects, and remember where they put items. They also have a great memory for faces and names.
The cockroach brain has about 1 million neurons. This is only one-third of the number of humans. But the cockroach brain has twice as many synapses. Synapse is the connection between nerve cells.
Gastropods ( snails or slugs ) – 2 brains
Slugs have about 7000 neurons per slug, which means they can remember things for up to 20 minutes. They also have a brain stem that controls their heart rate and breathing.
A snail’s brain has a huge number of neurons. They are arranged in layers like those found in our brains, but they do not communicate directly with each other. Snail’s brains develop from a simple embryo into a complex adult structure.
The snail brain has about 1/20th the capacity of a human brain. If we look at how much information was stored in our brains when we were living in caves, we would be surprised at how much information we now store in our smartphones today.
When we find out that snails have brains smaller than ours, we will start thinking about what other animals have evolved less intelligent brains.
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Which Animal Has No Brain And Heart?
A jellyfish. Jellyfish do not have brains or hearts. They are made up of cells called cnidocytes which contain stinging nematocysts.
Nematocysts are microscopic capsules filled with venom that are fired at prey when a jellyfish is touched. The nematocyst then injects the venom into the prey.
Jellyfish are actually invertebrates, so they lack a backbone and a nervous system. Their body is divided into three sections: an oral arm, a bell, and a tentacle arm. The tentacles are used to catch prey.