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Mammalian brains are made of these: A dataset of the numbers and densities of neuronal and nonneuronal cells in the brains of glires, primates, eulipotyphlans, afrotherians and artiodactyls, and their relationship with body mass

Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Kenneth Catania, Paul R. Manger and Jon H. Kaas (2015), Brain, Behavior and Evolution 86,145-163

 

Comparative studies amongst extant species are one of the pillars of evolutionary neurobiology. In the 20th century, most comparative studies remained restricted to analyses of brain structure volume and surface areas, besides estimates of neuronal density largely limited to the cerebral cortex. Over the last ten years, we have amassed data on the numbers of neurons and other cells that compose the entirety of the brain (subdivided into cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and rest of brain) of 39 mammalian species spread over 6 clades, as well as their densities. Here we provided that entire dataset in a format that is readily useful to researchers of any area of interest in the hope that it will foster the advancement of evolutionary and comparative studies well beyond the scope of neuroscience itself.  We also re-examine the relationship between numbers of neurons, neuronal densities and body mass, and find that in the rest of brain, but not in the cerebral cortex or cerebellum, there is a single scaling rule that applies to average neuronal cell size, which increases with the linear dimension of the body, even though there is no single scaling rule that relates the number of neurons in the rest of brain to body mass. Thus, larger bodies do not uniformly come with more neurons – but they do fairly uniformly come with larger neurons in the rest of brain, which contains a number of structures directly connected to sources or targets in the body.

The link to a free PDF of the paper is here, courtesy of Brain, Behavior and Evolution.

The full dataset on brain structure mass, numbers of neurons and nonneuronal cells, and cell densities is also available here, in .xlsx format. Numbers for the whole brain are below, from Table 5 in the paper:

 

Whole brain data, in ascending order of brain mass
(both hemispheres, NOT including the olfactory bulbs)

 

Species

Order

Body mass, g

Brain mass, g

Neurons

Other cells

Source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorex fumeus

Eulipotyphla

7.8

± 0.1

0.176

± 0.007

36,460,000

± 4,567,000 

22,860,000

± 3,956,000

Sarko et al., 2009

Blarina brevicauda

Eulipotyphla

16.2

± 1.6

0.347

± .0.018

55,190,000

± 6,126,000 

33,550,000

± 1,222,000

Sarko et al., 2009

Heterocephalus glaber

Glires

23.3

± 5.9

0.392

± 0.045

26,875,462

± 3,340,087

24,191,205

± 1,739,102

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2011

Mus musculus

Glires

40.4

± 11.6

0.402

± 0.028

67,873,741

± 10,406,194

33,858,759

± 6,657,119

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2006

Parascalops breweri

Eulipotyphla

42.7

± 9.1

0.759

± 0.024

123,600,000

± 12,470,000

78,260,000

± 6,095,000

Sarko et al., 2009

Condylura cristata

Eulipotyphla

41.1

± 4.7

0.802

± 0.046

131,330,000

± 21,229,000

83,040,000

± 19,046,000

Sarko et al., 2009

Amblysomus hottentotus

Afrotheria

79.0

0.812

± 0.044

65,074,000

± 2,124,000

46,631,000

± 527,000

Neves et al., 2014

Mesocricetus auratus

Glires

168.1

± 13.6

0.965

± 0.136

84,220,000

± 9,893,371

70,640,000

±11,942,086

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2006

Scalopus aquaticus

Eulipotyphla

95.3

± 9.8

0.999

± 0.080

203,520,000

± 14,587,000

101,740,000

± 11,823,000

Sarko et al., 2009

Elephantulus myurus

Afrotheria

45.1

1.040

± 0.082

129,190,603

± 4,424,000

78,594,397

± 7,733,000

Neves et al., 2014

Rattus norvegicus

Glires

315.1

± 102.9

1.724

± 0.292

188,867,832

± 12,622,383

121,914,668

± 7,106,729

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2006

Microcebus murinus

Primata

60.0

1.799

254,711,180

 

138,948,820

Gabi et al., 2010

Proechimys cayennensis

Glires

223.485

± 16.6

2.078

± 0.071

202,090,113

± 2,931,245

181,274,887

± 4,310,103

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2011

Petrodromus tetradactylus

Afrotheria

132.5

2.440

±0.109

156,830,795

± 20,600,000

103,349,000

± 15,610,000

Neves et al., 2014

Tupaia glis

Scandentia

172.5

± 3.5

2.752

± 0.011

261,400,000

199,650,000

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2007

Cavia porcellus

Glires

311.0

± 49.1

3.656

± 0.486

233,557,275

± 4,085,741

228,087,725

± 9,141,554

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2006

Cynomys sp.

Glires

1,515

± 230.6

5.321

± 0.197

437,943,767

± 78,742,230

417,349,567

± 27,350,023

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2011

Sciurus carolinensis

Glires

500

5.548

± 0.306

453,660,197

± 59,752,698

530,476,469

± 5,605,837

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2011

Callithrix jacchus

Primata

361.0

± 1.4

7.780

± 0.654

635,800,000

± 115,730,000

590,740,000

± 70,810,000

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2007

Oryctolagus cuniculus

Glires

4600

9.132

 

494,205,000

630,795,000

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2011

Otolemur garnetti

Primata

946.7

± 102.6

10.150

±0.060

936,000,000

± 115,360,000

666,590,000

± 63,500,000

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2007

Dendrohyrax dorsalis

Afrotheria

1,150

12.800

504,572,834

413,574,000

Neves et al., 2014

Aotus trivirgatus

Primata

925

± 35

15.730

1,468,410,000

1,195,130,000

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2007

Procavia capensis

Afrotheria

2,517

16.853

± 1.495

755,653,000

± 72,145,000

620,622,000

± 37,616,000

Neves et al., 2014

Dasyprocta primnolopha

Glires

2,843

± 196

17.628

± 1.900

795,112,070

951,677,930

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2006

Saimiri sciureus

Primata

859

30.216

3,246,430,000

2,073,030,000

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2007

Macaca fascicularis

Primata

5,700

46.162

3,439,004,620

3,154,415,380

Gabi et al., 2010

Cebus apella

Primata

3,340

52.208

3,690,520,000

3,297,740,000

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2007

Macaca radiata

Primata

8,012

61.470

3,755,620,300

4,878,879,700

Gabi et al., 2010

Sus scrofa domesticus

Artiodactyla

100,000

64.180

2,224,112,553

4,695,783,705

Kazu et al., 2014

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Glires

47,500

± 3,536

74.734

±3.756

1,572,560,385

± 72,641,426

3,197,929,615

± 974,583,717

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2006

Macaca mulatta

Primata

3,900

87.346

6,376,160,000

7,162,900,000

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2007

Antidorcas marsupialis

Artiodactyla

25,000

106.074

2,724,595,233

5,912,784,575

Kazu et al., 2014

Papio anubis cynocephalus

Primata

8,000

151.194

10,948,086,440

9,175,538,564

Gabi et al., 2010

Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi

Artiodactyla

60,000

154.718

3,058,814,227

9,343,246,559

Kazu et al., 2014

Tragelaphus stripceros

Artiodactyla

218,000

306.860

4,911,651,549

16,977,183,580

Kazu et al., 2014

Giraffa camelopardalensis

Artiodactyla

470,000

537.218

10,751,287,650

37,912,932,350

Kazu et al., 2014

Homo sapiens

Primata

70,000

1,508.910

± 299.140

86,060,000,000

± 8,120,000,000

84,610,000,000

± 9,830,000,000

Azevedo et al., 2009

Loxodonta africana

Afrotheria

5,000,000

4,618.620

257,043,473,412

216,057,982,337

Herculano-Houzel et al., 2014