We, humans, are capable of learning, reasoning, and solving problems. We are aware of ourselves and are conscious of others’ presence, thoughts, and feelings. We are creative, make tools, and practice the art of deception. We communicate using language and express complex ideas through it. These are arguably signs that human beings are highly intelligent. But in case you haven’t heard, man isn’t the only intelligent being on the planet. As a matter of fact, we have plenty of company, and who else is on the list might take you by surprise. Here is a list of the top 10 most intelligent animals on earth.
10 – Rats
Rats, like humans, have the ability to make decisions based on knowledge they do or do not have. Widely used in research, the rat has been known to find loopholes, shortcuts, and escape routes in experiments designed by the smartest scientific minds of our time. According to research, rats are surprisingly self-aware, ticklish, and also dream as we do. Pet rats form strong bonds with their owners, learn their names and come when called. They also beg for time out of their cage to socialize with their owners.
9 – Octopuses
Of all invertebrates, Octopuses have the largest brains. The brain of an octopus shares features of complexity with the human brain such as distinct regions for processing tactile and visual information. They play, navigate through mazes, solve problems, and have a respectable short-term memory. The combination of strength, curiosity, agility, massive brain power sets the octopus apart from its boneless brethren.
8 – Pigs
Despite a reputation for poor hygiene, pigs are actually very smart animals. They have excellent long-term memories, can comprehend a simple symbolic language, and solve mazes easily. They also seem to be as trainable as cats and dogs, and have become a favorite pet around the world. Pigs love to play, can learn how to move an on-screen cursor and operate a joystick, and find hidden food using a mirror.
7 – Dogs
When it comes to man’s best friend, “intelligent” means different things to different people. Some feel an obedient dog is smart, while others consider a dog with a mind of its own smarter. By most human standards, it is very agreeable dogs are considered smart animals.
6 – Pigeons
According to studies, pigeons are capable of learning abstract mathematical rules. In fact, they are the only animals apart from humans and rhesus monkeys with the ability. They also have the ability to make extremely intelligent choices and possess highly evolved pigeon problem-solving skills.
5 – Crows
A crow’s brain is almost the size of a human thumb, which is huge in relation to its body size. This puts them at the same intelligence level with primates, giving them the ability to solve complex problems and recognize individual human faces.
4 – Orangutan
Apes are considered the smartest animals after humans, and among them, orangutans stand out as especially gifted in intellectual capacity. Have established a strong culture and system of communication. They live in scattered communities and form social bonds, which are key to their advanced cognitive skills. Orangutans have also been observed to use tools in the wild.
3 – Elephants
The sheer size of an elephant’s brain suggests that they know a couple of things about the ways of the world. These mammals are quite elegant, cultured, and curious. Elephants are empathetic animals to other members of their group and even to other species, a trait that is considered a highly advanced form of intelligence.
2 – Dolphins
Dolphins are one in just a few species of the animal kingdom that have the ability to use vocal learning to develop their unique vocal signature. Each dolphin develops a unique vocal whistle early in life, which gives it individuality. This allows them to call each other by mimicking the whistle of a dolphin they would like to communicate with. It’s the same as calling each other by name.
1 – Chimpanzees
Humans and chimpanzees are similar in remarkable ways, sharing about 99% of DNA. The intellectual abilities of this apes have long fascinated humans. They can hunt collectively, make and use tools, and solve advanced problems. Perhaps the chimpanzee’s most fascinating feature is the ability to combine symbols of objects in a sequence to convey a complex idea. They also maintain complex social groups, where they form strong bonds and have an elaborate hierarchical structure.