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Are Whales Smarter Than Humans? Whale Intelligence Facts

Just as you are curious about dolphins’ intelligence facts, you may also be wondering if whales are smart too. Most marine creatures are known to be incredibly intelligent. If you’re unaware, some of the most intelligent animals can be found in the oceans. But are whales actually smarter than humans?

Whales, not humans, have the largest brains. The massive brains of these creatures are a direct result of their enormous size. However, this does not mean that whales are more intelligent than humans.

Let’s dig in deeper and see if whales are smarter than humans, along with some interesting facts about these beautiful creatures that you may not have known. 

Are Killer Whales Smarter Than Humans?

Humans are still smarter than killer whales or other animal creatures. People ask the question, “Are whales smarter than humans?” because of their cognitive skills. For instance, orcas, or killer whales, are known for being social and intelligent animals that have performed in marine parks for a long time. 

Research has shown that they live in close-knit family groups and share a unique culture passed down from generation to generation. Over the years, orcas have evolved to be capable of swimming up to 40 miles per day.

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Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear that they don’t do well when kept in captivity. Whales are held in neither natural nor suitable groups when held in captivity. Captive-born orcas often transfer to different facilities and break their social bonds. It can also lead to them getting into fights with other animals.

Are Whales Smarter Than Dolphins?

It’s common knowledge that dolphins are very bright, but do whales share this trait? There isn’t an IQ test that can accurately gauge their intelligence at the moment. 

Traditionally we believe that having a larger brain helps with intellectual capabilities, but this is not always the case. Whales, like dolphins, have the capacity for social and emotional intelligence and may communicate with one another. 

Furthermore, they possess the greatest brains in the animal kingdom. For instance, a male sperm whale’s brain is likely five times larger than a human’s.

An orca whale with its head out of the water, and its mouth open looking like its smiling.
Orca whales are very socially intelligent animals

Whales’ Brain Size

Contrary to popular belief, humans do not have the biggest brains in the world. The biggest brains belong to whales. The reason why these animals’ brains are so big is that they have grown so large.

The sperm whale’s brain is the largest of any mammal, weighing up to 20 pounds (7 to 9 kilograms).

A blue whale’s brain is estimated to weigh around 15 pounds or less than 1% of the animal’s total mass. An average human brain occupies about 1300 cubic centimeters, so its size is far more prominent. The blue whale’s brain is larger than the typical human brain by around 8,000 cubic centimeters.

Sperm Whales’ Cognitive Skills 

Believed to be the largest on earth, a sperm whale’s brain weighs roughly 17 pounds (7.8 kg).

Recent studies have revealed some interesting questions about the size of sperm whales. We’re getting closer to answering these, and the researchers’ findings help us understand what’s real and what’s not. The biggest brain of any mammal on earth belongs to the sperm whale. 

Compared to other mammals, the brain of a sperm whale is the biggest. It has an extensive auditory and a diminished olfactory system, making it incapable of perceiving flavors and smells. Also, due to its pyramidal tract’s loss of limbs, it has not developed correctly.

However, it is still required to develop a strategy to understand the communication of whales. Developing complex cognitive abilities and neuroanatomical features in sperm whales makes them an ideal model for developing advanced tools for other animals.

If we go back to the question, “Are whales smarter than humans?” The encephalization quotient of a sperm whale is lower than that of humans

The encephalization quotient measures the relative size of a brain compared to that of other animals. Typically used to compare a species’ size to other similar bodies.

A sperm whale at the surface of the water blowing water out of its spout.
Sperm whales are believed to have the biggest brains on earth

Blue Whales Cognitive Skills

The brain of a big blue whale is about four times the size of a human brain. Some ask, “Are whales smarter than humans?” because they think that bigger brains are better, even though they can use a lot of energy.

People generally think that the blue whale is a brilliant animal. It is smart because it can find its way through big oceans and deep water. These animals can also plan their moves to catch krill, tiny animals they like to eat.

The brains of blue whales are bigger than those of dolphins and killer whales. Nevertheless, humans are more intelligent than any other species on earth. 

What is The IQ Of Wales?

It’s a difficult question to answer about the intelligence quotient of a whale since we can’t measure their IQ using the same methods used for humans. Also, unlike us, whales don’t have hands, and they communicate in an incredibly different way

In addition, they have an almost impossible intelligence, making it incredible to believe they can understand what we are saying.

Special Skills of Whales

​​Multiple well-known baleen whale species have been singing, including the humpback and blue whales. These whales can produce loud, melodic notes and tones that are sometimes mistaken for human-made music.

Whale songs are more complicated than mating cries and are learned from other species. A few of the whales known for their melodic songs are:

  • blue whales
  • fin
  • bowhead
  • humpback whales

To sum up the question of “Are whales smarter than humans?” we humans still excel, even among the most intelligent animals on earth.

A whale and a baby whale swimming in the water.
There is no IQ test for a whale, unfortunately

Also, it’s a difficult question to answer about the intelligence quotient of a whale since we can’t measure their IQ using the same methods used for humans

However, whales, like dolphins, have the capacity for social and emotional intelligence and may communicate with one another. Thus, whales’ cognitive skills can’t be questioned as they are known as one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. 

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