The Hippogriff Brain

The hippogriff is a mythical creature that originates in Roman mythology. It has the wings and upper body of an eagle, and lower body of a horse. It also makes an appearance in the third installment of the Harry Potter series.

Because its head is that of an eagle, I believe that the hippogriff would have some variation of the typical avian brain. Relative to the brain of typical invertebrate, birds have a large cerebral cortex and cerebellum. They also have some of the largest optic lobes in the animal kingdom. Their olfactory bulbs, however, are very small.

The hippogriff is described as demonstrating high cognitive ability. They are able to communicate with individuals of different species using body language, and are able to recognize individuals and show affection. Hence, I believe the cerebral cortex of the hippogriff would be very large, perhaps close to the relative size of that of a chimpanzee.

Due to its complex anatomy, I believe the cerebellum of the hippogriff would also have to be quite large. The cerebellum controls fine movement controls, and would be responsible for balance and coordination during flight. Though most birds require this, the hippogriff’s would need to be larger due to it disproportionate distribution of body weight. The hippogriff would also have an arguably more coordinated ability to travel on ground, due to its horse legs. This would also be controlled by the cerebellum. Thus the cerebellum would be very big in the hippogriff, as it would need to allow for both of these actions. To accommodate these functions, there would also be presumably more fine motor connections than in a regular vertebrate.

I would also argue that, while the optic lobes would be very large (as is the case with most birds), the olfactory bulbs would not be as small as in most birds. This is because, unlike most birds, the hippogriff spends a great deal of its time on the ground, especially when hunting. The sense of smell is most useful at ground level, and would be a valuable adaptation for predation.

Finally, I believe the hippogriff would have a high EQ, due to the fact that it is a predator (a trait that is commonly associated with high EQ).

Hippogriff

One response to “The Hippogriff Brain”

  1. Fabiana Vilsan says:

    I really liked the creature that you chose and how creative you were when imagining aspects of its brain such as the cerebellum.

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