Ever been told you
have a memory like an elephant?
Knowing that there are similarities between humans and
elephants, I was interested in exploring where this phrase came from and if
elephants really do have good memories.
There are a number of reasons why this phrase has come
about. Here are some facts about the elephant's brain:
average elephants brain is 4.8kg, the largest among living and extinct
animals. A humans' is 1.5kg
has the greatest volume of cerebral cortex available for cognitive
processing of all land mammals. This is the thinking and perceiving part
of the brain.
neocortex is large and highly convoluted. This is the area in humans where
working memory, planning, spatial orientation, speech and language are
4) They accumulate and retain social and ecological
knowledge, remembering the scents and voices of scores of other
individuals and places for decades.
5) They use their long-term memories to "keep
score" and to extract "revenge" for wrongs done.
So it would seem that elephants really do have great long
term memories; so if you are told you have a memory like an elephant, take it
as a compliment.