Difference Between Human and Sheep Brain (With Table)

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

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 between them.

Human vs Sheep Brain

The difference between the human and sheep brain lies in its size and shape. While the human brain is larger and round, a sheep’s brain is smaller and elongated. A human brain weighs about 1300 to 1400 grams while a sheep brain weighs about 140 grams. A sheep’s brain weighs the tenth part of the human brain.

The human brain is 15 centimetres long and a sheep’s brain is only about a third of that length. Both have three divisions namely, cerebrum, cerebellum and the brainstem. The cerebellum and brain stem are located behind the cerebrum in sheep as they have a horizontal spine. While they are located below the cerebrum in humans as they have vertical spines and are upright. 

Comparison Table Between Human and Sheep Brain

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 in carrying 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 centre for the body. It receives signals from different sensory organs, processes them and gives an output that is carried out by different muscles and organs. All of this happens within a matter of seconds. It can be considered as one of the several miracles that happen 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. 

Dendrites of one neuron are connected to axons of another and form a synapse. The synaptic connection helps in the transmission of nerve impulses.

Behaviour and motor control are carried out by the cerebellum. 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.

What is the Sheep Brain?

A sheep brain is similar to the human brain in structure and it’s working. It is also made of neurons which help in the transmission of signals. Although the position of the brain is different in sheep than in humans. Sheep brains have fewer ridges and contours on their surface as compared to human brains.

The cerebellum is smaller in size and hence 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 for directing them in their paths. 

The pineal gland controls reproduction, circadian rhythms and other instinctual behaviours. It is larger in sheep than in humans. Hence sheep rely more on instincts than learned behaviour, while it is the other way around in human beings.

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

Main Differences Between a Human and a Sheep Brain

  1. There is a difference in the size of a human and a sheep’s brain. 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 in shape while the brain of a sheep is elongated.
  4. A human’s frontal lobe is massive in comparison to a sheep’s.
  5. Human brains are more complex than a sheep’s brain which enables 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.

Conclusion

Humans and sheep both belong to the class of mammals. They have several organs that are similar in structure and function. The brain is one of them. While they carry out the same function, their structure and the extent to which it exercises its potential is different.

The brain of sheep is smaller than the brain of a human. It also weighs less. A sheep’s brain is positioned in a different way than a human is. The cerebellum, which regulates motor function and behaviour, is also less developed in sheep than in humans.

Sheep’s brain has a more developed olfactory lobe and a smaller frontal lobe than humans. The complexity of a human brain is vast as compared to a sheep’s and hence we can accommodate new data and learn new things every day. 

Sheep rely more on their instinctual behaviour and humans rely both on their instincts as well as their learnings. Humans are also capable of controlling the urge to carry out certain actions against instincts. We can learn to change and modify our behaviour while sheep cannot.

While both humans and sheep both have brains, they both carry out its function to a different extent.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003277816300582
  2. https://portlandpress.com/biochemj/article-abstract/376/2/369/40861