Bodily Defenses Image Map

Activity 1: Brain Size

Orientation:
This activity will have you analyze the picture of various types of brains.
Materials:

If you can get fresh brains from a slaughter house, it would be very helpful. Maybe your school has some models of a brain. 
Student Observation Journal for Activity #1
(right mouse click and select "open in a new window" to open as a MS Word document)

Learning About Brain Size and Appearance

Answer the following questions (all brains in the picture are drawn to scale)

  1. Which animal has the smallest brain? Which has the largest?
  2. Is there a rough agreement between the size of brain and intelligence?
  3. The higher animals have more folds of tissue on the surface. Does this mean they might have more neurons on the surface, because there is more surface?
  4. The porpoise brain is almost as big as the human, and it has more folds.  What does that suggest?
  5. The two small lobes at the left of the brain of the rat, rabbit, cat, and porpoise are "olfactory bulbs," used in processing odors. They are present but much smaller relative to the rest of the brain in the other species. What does this suggest about the role of odor in the animal's life style? 

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