Difference Between Human and Sheep Brain

The brain is one of the most important organs of the body. It controls our motion, sensations, and regulation of several activities and bodily functions.
Without it, whatever we do today, could not be possible.

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Although the basic structure and shape of the brain are similar in all mammals, there are many dissimilarities in the brains of different animals. Human and sheep brains are quite similar but have some key differences.

Key Takeaways

  1. The human brain is larger and more complex than the sheep brain, with greater cognitive abilities and a larger cerebral cortex.
  2. The sheep brain is often used as a model for studying neurological disorders, as it shares many similarities with the human brain.
  3. While human and sheep brains share many similarities in structure and function, the human brain is generally considered more advanced and complex.

Human vs. Sheep Brain

Human Brain is larger and weighs around 1300 to 1400 grams. It has a vertical spine, so the cerebellum and brainstem are below the cerebrum. A sheep’s brain is small in size and has a horizontal spine. They have a good sense of smell due to a more developed olfactory lobe.

Human vs Sheep Brain

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The human brain is 15 centimeters long, and a sheep’s brain is only about a third of that length. Both have three divisions: the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem.

The cerebellum and brain stem are located behind the cerebrum in sheep, as they have a horizontal spine. At the same time, they are located below the cerebrum in humans as they have vertical spines and are upright. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHuman BrainSheep Brain
DimensionThe human brain is larger and heavier.The sheep brain is smaller and lighter.
Olfactory Lobe DevelopmentHuman brains have a less developed olfactory lobe.Sheep brains have a more developed olfactory lobe.
ShapeThe brain of a human is rounded.The brain of a sheep is elongated.
Size of the Frontal LobeThe human brain has a large frontal lobe.The sheep brain has a relatively smaller frontal lobe.
ComplexityHuman brains are more complex, and this helps them perform certain functions that other animals can’t.Sheep brains are less complex and only help them carry out basic functions like eating, drinking, walking, etc.
Pineal GlandHumans have a larger pineal gland.Sheep have a smaller pineal gland.

What is the Human Brain?

The brain acts as a command center for the body. It receives signals from different sensory organs, processes them, and gives an output to different muscles and organs. All of this happens within a matter of seconds.

It can be considered one of the several miracles happening inside the human body.

The cerebrum is 85% of the brain’s total weight. A neuron can be considered as the basic unit of the brain.

There are more than 86 billion neurons present in the brain. The tip of a neuron is called an axon, and the rear end branches out to form dendrites. 

One neuron’s dendrites are connected to another’s axons and form a synapse. The synaptic connection helps in the transmission of nerve impulses.

The cerebellum carries out behavior and motor control. It is larger in humans than in sheep. Hence they have more control over their movements than sheep.

The olfactory lobe is used to detect smells. It is comparatively less developed in humans as they rely more on other senses like sight and touch.

The prefrontal cortex present in the brain is responsible for creation and innovation. It is more developed in human beings than sheep.

human brain

What is the Sheep Brain?

A sheep brain is similar to the human brain in terms of structure and working. It is also made of neurons which help in the transmission of signals. However, the position of the brain is different in sheep than in humans.

Sheep brains have fewer ridges and contours on their surface than human brains.

The cerebellum is smaller and limits itself to less control over precise movements. The olfactory lobe is more developed in sheep as they rely more on their sense of smell to direct them in their paths. 

The pineal gland controls reproduction, circadian rhythms, and other instinctual behaviors. It is larger in sheep than in humans.

Hence sheep rely more on instincts than learned behavior, while it is the other way around in human beings.

Sheep have a less developed prefrontal cortex and are not capable of innovation.

sheep brain

Main Differences Between a Human and a Sheep Brain

  1. There is a difference in the size of a human and a sheep’s brains. The human brain is much larger than the sheep’s brain.
  2. The human brain amasses a less refined olfactory lobe than a sheep’s brain.
  3. The brain of a human is round, while a sheep’s brain is elongated.
  4. A human’s frontal lobe is massive in comparison to a sheep’s.
  5. Human brains are more complex than sheep’s brains, enabling them to carry out more complex actions like writing, reading, etc.
  6. The size of the pineal gland is larger in sheep than in humans.
Difference Between Human and Sheep Brain 1
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003277816300582
  2. https://portlandpress.com/biochemj/article-abstract/376/2/369/40861 
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