Top 10 Most Intelligent Animals
If you ask anyone about which animal he thinks is the most intelligent, he will give you some very common answers. Chimps, dolphins, and dogs will often be on anyone’s list of the smartest animals in the world. If you tell people that crows, pigs, and octopuses are also smart, you may get a very bewildered look in return. As it turns out, there are members of the animal kingdom that are truly intelligent. Here’s the top 10.
If you look at chimps, they look very much like humans. Sure, they have hair all over their body. However, science has already made a very astonishing discovery related to the genetic makeup of these creatures. The genomes of both man and chimpanzee are identical by at least 98 percent. The only thing that separates us from them is our ability to communicate in a comprehensible manner through the use of language.
This is a creature that stands up like we do. People who study animal intelligence among chimpanzees note that the creature uses its hands in almost the same way we use ours. It uses tools to find food as well as to help it defend its family and territory. This is an animal that is also capable of empathy and altruism. And if these don’t surprise you, then maybe a chimp’s self-awareness will. In some tests, chimps performed a number memory tests a lot better than humans.
Creative Bottlenose Dolphins
These are one of the very few creatures on the planet that are known to develop their own vocal signature. They use vocal learning early in their lives to create their signature “whistle”. You can say it is this “vocal whistle” that gives each dolphin a unique identity. They mimic the vocal whistle of the bottlenose dolphin that they would like to “talk to”. In a way, it is like calling a friend by his or her name.
Bottlenose dolphins are also very skilled when it comes to the building of social relationships. They will never leave a sick or injured member behind. Bottlenose dolphins will help keep their sick members to break the surface of the water, allowing them to breathe. These mammals also have a very protective nature. They will swim around human swimmers to protect them from sharks. There are many other remarkable feats that prove bottlenose dolphins as one of the smartest animals in the world.
Elephants have one of the planet’s biggest brains. That should account for something. These giants are some of the most family-oriented creatures on the planet. They will protect their family, especially their young. When an elephant loses a baby elephant, other elephants will console the creature. These animals have also been observed to help other species whenever they need help.
One of the things that people do not know about these creatures is that they are self-aware. Give them a large mirror and they will recognize themselves. They do not only communicate using the noise that they make. They also “talk” to one another through the feet. With such heft, they can send seismic vibrations for tens of miles, allowing other elephants to “talk back”.
Critical-Thinking African Gray Parrots
People always cite parrots as one of the world’s smartest creatures. They say this because parrots are one of the very few species that can “pronounce” human words in a way that we understand. However, this is not the only thing that makes these creatures smart. The African Gray Parrot, for example, is known for its inferential thinking abilities. It means is that this specie of parrot has a fair understanding of the concept of cause and effect.
While it is difficult to measure animal intelligence, ornithologists say that African Grays are capable of using abstract reasoning. African Grays can identify logical patterns and rules. They use this understanding to help them solve unprecedented situations. They are also very proficient when it comes to counting numbers.
Wise and Clean Pigs
Contrary to what most people think, pigs are very clean animals. The only reason why they like to roll around in mud is because these animals do not have sweat glands. Rolling in mud is the pig’s way of cooling off. Some say pigs are cleaner than dogs and cats.
Another thing that many people don’t know about pigs is that they are intelligent. Pigs have remarkable long-term memory. They can recall experiences from the distant past and use this information to solve current problems. Research shows that pigs can solve mazes a lot quicker than lab rats. They can also comprehend simple symbolic language. There are also cases of pigs showing the stunning proficiency in operating a joystick, moving an onscreen cursor in the process. Pigs love to play as well as use mirrors to help them find food hidden from view.
During the Euro 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, football fans turned to Paul the Octopus to help predict who will win the matches. During its short, 2-year lifetime, Paul was able to notch 12 accurate predictions from a total of 14. This is a success rate of 87.5%. While Paul is no longer in this world, its remarkable “prediction” abilities underscored the unique intelligence that these sea creatures have.
Octopus, cuttlefish, and squid are smart species of the deep. Their brain comes with distinct regions and folded lobes that bear close similarity to the human brain. These regions function in the processing of both tactile and visual information. These creatures hate boredom and are very curious about their surroundings. And with tentacles to use, octopuses can learn how to use any type of tool that it can get its tentacles on.
Many individuals look at crows with disdain. This specie of bird is often equated with death and the dead. As such, they are often taken as a bad omen. However, they are also one of the most cunning bird species on the planet. Their animal intelligence lies in their ability to solve very complex problems. Biologists say that the intelligence of crows is somewhat similar to that of primates. They have a brain that is bigger than their body size.
Among the things that make crows intelligent is their ability to recognize and remember different things, especially human faces. Its reaction depends on whether it interprets a human face to be friendly or not. They are also remarkable at crafting tools. Crows can “design” simple tools out of feathers, twigs, and other debris. This is a crafty bird; proof of its intelligence.
Almost everyone despises rats. They are filthy and bring disease to our homes. They steal food and destroy many of our personal belongings, like clothes and other stuff. Yet, there are rats that can be excellent pets. They also possess cognitive abilities that make them smarter than we give them credit for.
Years ago, biologists discovered that rats have the ability to make decisions. They base these decisions on the things that they know or do not know. This is where experiential learning comes to the fore. Once exposed to a particular situation, rats can use this exposure to guide them in their future interactions with a similar situation. Rats can also form very strong attachments with their human owners. They can perform many antics to get their owners to play with them.
We all know that a pigeon’s ability to return home after covering a great distance is related to its amazing magnetoreception capabilities. This allows the pigeon to find its way home, regardless of how far it has flown. It does not need a GPS transceiver to direct the bird where it should go. It already knows. If this is not a clear indication of animal intelligence, then nothing else is.
Pigeons are also known for their problem-solving skills. They can recognize people through their individual facial characteristics. Pigeons can also make intelligent choices. Biologists also discovered that these birds can learn many of the abstract rules of mathematics.
Some say that dogs are not really intelligent. They are only biddable and very trainable. For dog lovers, however, no other animal can be more intelligent than the dog. A Border Collie knows a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words. Another Border Collie can open a manually-operated car window faster than some humans. There are many dog breeds that can show amazing feats.
Dogs have the ability to understand their human owners’ point of view. They will try to comfort you when they sense that you are feeling blue. They will stay by your side, even without you telling them. Some dogs will also look for food so that they will have something to give to their owner.
Some of the smartest animals in the world are species that you may never would have guessed. These animals do not have the complex cognitive processes of the human brain. However, they have their own unique abilities that make them very intelligent in the animal kingdom.