The 10 Most Intelligent Animals on Earth
Octopuses have the largest brains of any invertebrate. Athena's is the size of a walnut-as big as the brain of the famous African gray parrot, Alex, who learned to use more than one hundred spoken words meaningfully. That's proportionally bigger than the brains of most of the largest dinosaurs.
In the world of animal research, there has long been a clear hierarchy of intelligence. Monkeys are at the top, naturally. Then come rats, the workhorses of the psychology lab. And down at the bottom are mice, cute and fluffy but not all that bright. For at least a hundred years researchers have used rats in their psychology experiments, assuming that they were the smarter of the two lab rodents. But new research shows that that might not be true.
While a squirrel isn’t going to pen the next bestseller or ace a calculus class, the squirrel is smart in his own way. When looking at animal intelligence, humans shouldn’t judge animals by human standards. The best way to judge animal intelligence is how well they adapt and make use of the world around them. Squirrels are experts at adapting, capable of living almost anywhere, so much so that in some areas they are viewed as pests. Memory and abstract thought are two hallmarks of intelligence that squirrels have proven they are capable of.
They demonstrated an ability to drop sinking rather than floating objects, solid rather than hollow objects, to choose a high water level tube over one with low water level, and a water-filled tube over one filled with sand.
The crows failed on two more difficult tasks, however. One test required understanding of the width of the tube and the other involved displacing water in a U-shaped tube.
Otters are one of the smartest species on the planet. Sometimes they forget they're not humans.We're starting to realize how smart otters really are. They know how to play basketball. They know how to stack cups, They know how to use rocks to open clams.
The cognitive ability of swine is a perennial topic for armchair scientists. They are smarter than dogs, people will tell you, smarter than dolphins, smarter than 3-year-olds.
Elephants have the largest brain of any land animal on earth – which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering their physical size. Like pigs, elephants have an active and rewarding social life. They can perform complex tasks and learn from their surroundings and experiences. Scientists believe they can recognize hundreds of different sounds and even mimic some of them.
Dog intelligence or dog cognition is "...the resultant of the process of acquiring, storing in memory, retrieving, combining, comparing, and using in new contexts information and conceptual skills" as it applies to dogs.
Studies have shown that dogs display many behaviors associated with intelligence. They have advanced memory skills. For example, a border collie, "Chaser", learned the names of over 1,000 objects and retrieved them by verbal command. Dogs can use such memory skill to make inferences.
The dolphin's brain is the second most powerful and complex brain in animals (next to the human brain, of course). Intelligence may be defined as a measure of the brain's ability to process information in ways that solve problems and enhance one's survival. Measuring intelligence may be quite different for animals that have evolved in water versus those living on land, as the challanges required to survive in water are quite different than those required on land. Much debate exists regarding dolphin “intelligence”. Dolphins have a large brain.
Evidence for ape intelligence got a major boost in the 1960s in Gombe, Tanzania, when Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees using a twig to "fish" for ants (pictured in a file photo)—the first documentation of wild chimps making and using tools. Until then, toolmaking had been considered a uniquely human ability.
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