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We, humans, are very proud of our brains and our alleged “dominance” over the other organisms on the planet. But the animal kingdom is teeming with intelligent species who, if given a chance, would easily outsmart even the most astute humans. Prepare to be amazed by some of the smartest animals in the World, some of whom will surprise you!
Since rats are constantly used in research, you might not consider them the Smartest animals in the World. But have you considered that we utilize them because they are intelligent and can solve the puzzles we throw at them? Even though their eyesight is significantly less sharp than ours, they can memorize routes. And, despite having much smaller brains, their problem-solving abilities are comparable to those of dogs. A study published in the Harvard Business Review is proof of it. It discovered that “even though the rat brain is smaller and simpler than the human brain, studies show that both of them are astonishingly comparable in structure and function.”
Pigeons are not as “bird-brained” as you might imagine, despite their comically “clumsy” hopping style and seemingly vacuous looks! In a complex German study, researchers presented 725 random black-and-white photos to pigeons one at a time. They could distinguish between images in an identification game that most humans would struggle with, according to Psychology Today.
Elephants have excellent memories and are the Smartest animals in the World. They can remember exact routes to watering sites over extended lengths of country and many years—and they remain a friend. Shirley, an elephant, came to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee in 1999. Jenny, the resident elephant, immediately became lively and playful. It wasn’t love at first sight; Jenny recognized Shirley from their brief appearance in a circus together 22 years before.
Honeybees have developed “swarm intelligence,” with as many as 50,000 workers in one colony collaborating to make choices that are democratic. Colonies send out scouts to find a new home when a hive becomes overcrowded in the spring. If scouts dispute where the territory should construct its next pack, they settle their differences through a dance-off. Each scout does a “waggle dance” for other scouts to persuade them of the worthiness of his place. The more vibrant the dance, the happier the scout feels with his spot. The rest of the colony votes with their bodies, flying to their preferred location and participating in the dance until one possible hive rules as the neighborhood’s bee disco.
Dolphins are sometimes considered the second smartest animals in the World. This is because of their relatively sizeable brain-to-body size ratio, emotional capacity, and outstanding mimicry of the dumb primates who study them. According to a new study from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, dolphins may be the second-sneakiest species on the planet. When trainers at the Institute taught dolphins to pick up rubbish in their tanks and trade it for fish with them, one dolphin named Kelly found a way to scam the system. Kelly maximized her fishy prize by hiding trash fragments under a rock in her aquarium and surreptitiously tearing single sheets of discarded paper into many pieces, then turning them in one at a time. Kelly’s deception appears to have been planned; analysts believe she did it intentionally.
These tentacled organisms have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to pop screw-top jar lids off, squeeze their hefty bodies through slit-small holes, and crawl out of aquarium tanks to freedom. Otto, a German aquarium octopus, was even known to toss rocks at the glass and spray water at overhead lamps (on more than one occasion) to short-circuit the painfully bright lights. Add to it the ability to construct shelters out of coconut shells, and there’s no doubt cephalopods will become our overlords.
Pigs, like dogs, have been demonstrated to sense emotions, display empathy, solve mazes, learn minor symbolic languages, and, most endearingly, form best friends. The youngest pigs are among the smartest animals in the World, even outperforming our most immature humans. Piggies as young as six weeks old understood the idea of reflection within a few hours in an experiment where teeny British piglets had to use mirrors to divine the road to a concealed dish of food. This milestone takes infant humans many months to grasp.
Crows are the smartest animals in the World as they not only recognize faces to distinguish predatory and benign species. But they also comprehend fundamental physics and have been observed to alter entire migration paths to avoid farms where crows have been slaughtered in the past. Some may even memorize city garbage routes to snag the inevitable food droppings on trash day.
Unsurprisingly, chimps are among the Smartest animals in the World. Similar to how humans acquire their intelligence from their mothers, their genes heavily influence chimp IQ. They can learn words, play with objects, and even appear to mourn their friends’ deaths. Chimps have their method of making life easier. Chimps have been observed making and employing tools for simple tasks such as opening fruits and nuts. Indeed, research has revealed that some of these monkeys make spears to hunt smaller prey and long branches to dig for termites.
Aside from mimicking people, parrots can solve puzzles using logical reasoning. According to Live Science, these parrots have the intelligence of a three-year-old child. Parrots can infer where to find the reward of food not just from signs as to its setting but also from a lack of clues—an ability previously seen only in humans and other apes. It implies that Grey parrots understand causality and can utilize it to think about the world, hence are the smartest animal in the World.
Humans tend to overestimate their status at the highest level of the food chain. We take for granted that we’re among the most advanced creatures on the earth without questioning what distinguishes us. Is it object persistence, planning ability, tool use, or the fact that humans form complicated social relationships? Other animal species have some of these traits, and others have all. Many species’ survival is only possible with their specialized intelligence. Many animals navigate securely and get food by remembering pathways and locations throughout their area. To avoid becoming a meal, some must recall tactics for dodging and outwitting predators.
We aren’t the only clever organisms in the World, as evidenced by their ability to identify tuberculosis in people and outperform us in memory tests. We’re not even close. We prefer to believe that we are the smartest species on the planet, but typical classroom IQ tests only scratch the surface of an animal’s brainpower. While humans can develop sonar technology to monitor an enemy submarine, dolphins are born with it. Hence, it is no secret that some animals are even smarter than us humans.