5 Smartest animals in the world: The word animals evokes a savage sense of beasts eating in an abandoned field, chasing each other, making silly noises or lying in wait for humans in order to harm them. However, we tend to study some of them, live with them and even learn from them, what makes that so?
There are some unique characteristics that this animals possess that makes us so curious as to their behaviour and way of life, and this characteristics are known as smartness. Smartness can simply be defined as the ability to comprehend and learn from previous experiences and actions. This smartness is usually equated to that of humans and, when placed side by side in comparison, can be measured and graded.
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Smartest and Most Intelligent Animals in the World
Below are some animals that possess this unique quality:
1. Chimpanzees: It’s no surprise that chimpanzees are the smartest animals in the world, after humans. From time immemorial, Chimps have impressed humans beyond measure, and this has contributed to our continuous study of them. Here are a some of the incredible things that chimps can do:
a. Chimapnzees can read sign languages and remember it perfectly: Chimapnzees have been taught to use sign language. If you teach them the name sign for a particular individual, they would remember it for years to come. Chimpanzees can also remember signs that represent things from pictures by merely looking at it for awhile.
b. Chimapnzees can recognize themselves in mirrors: unlike most birds that try to fight the other bird they see in the mirror, Chimpanzees will recognize themselves in the mirror and would brush off dirt from their fur.
c. They are social creatures capable of empathy, and seem to hang around other chimps that aren’t family members: chimps are capable of having friends and unlike some other wild animals that only aggregate when they want to have a meal they tend to hang some other chimps that aren’t family members or relatives.
d. Chimps are coordinated in problem solving and learn through example and experience: Chimps have been observed to have a step by step process to making tools, cracking nuts with stones and not their hands and checking for dangerous objects on tools they would like to use. They can play with objects in the particular way humans do(eg YO-YO) and solve puzzles.
2. Dolphins: Dolphins are marine animals known for their fast sprinting, unique noise and playful attitude. There are over fourty species of dolphins and they have all been observed to be intelligent. This is maybe due to their large brain. Some of their unique abilities are as follows:
a. Dolphins display culture: different species of dolphins behave in different ways; they have unique moving patterns and communicating sounds.
b. Dolphins recognize themselves in the mirror: only killer sharks and dolphins have been seen as the aquatic animals that can do that.
c. Dolphins are capable of learning and obeying instructions: The U. S navy have trained dolphins to find explosive mines underwater.
d. Dolphins display good teaching and mimicking skills: Baby dolphins stay with their mothers for long. This mother’s then train their children in all the dolphin movements peculiar to their culture. They can also be trained by humans and used for shows in events and aquatic parks.
e. Different species of dolphins have unique languages associated with them: just like humans dolphins communicate, but also have unique communication patterns and langaues they use for their species.
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3. Dogs: Commonly known as man’s best friend, dogs are known to be always around humans. Not just because they are not agressive towards us but the love is mutual. They see humans as part of their family and would easily defend a random human being that wasn’t their owner from an agressive animal or person. Dogs make eye contact and in the process form special bonds with humans. They are seen as very intelligent animals because of the following characteristics:
a. Empathy: A dog would treat a fellow dog just like a human would treat a fellow human, and would reciprocate this behaviour to humans. A dog would mourn with you, celebrate when you do and rush out to greet you when you are back home. If you scold a dog it would sit at a corner and whine, and if you celebrate it it would stick it’s tongue out, shake it’s tail or turn in circles and attempt to hug you. Dogs also take action steps towards solving your problems, and have been reported to rescue humans from deadly situations numerous times.
b. Dogs understand both straightforward and symbolic language: Dogs react to human voices, and if repeated over and over again, they would do the same thing. Dogs can understand over 100 human words. According to a paper published in The Behaviour Processes Journal a Boader Collie was trained to learn over a thousand words.
They also understand gestures like pointing, and will understand when you want to cheat them and when you’re lying.
c. Dogs have a good memory: compared to cats and elephants, dogs may not remember someone for years, except if you’re their owner. But they would adapt to someone’s entering their owners house. Such that if you were to visit a friend the first time their dog would bark at you numerous times, the second time may turn out the same way, but a third and fourth time and the dogs wouldn’t even look at you.
If you were bringing goodies for them they may start to shake their tail when they see you, this signifies love and trust. Anyway, their receptive attitude is subject to whether the owner of the premises received you favourably.
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4. Elephants: I’m sure you could almost guess why elephants are on the list. Just like their body mass they also have a really large brain. The human brain and the elephants brain are similar in this respect: the cortex of an elephants brain has as many neurons as the human brain. From research, elephants have been seen to be exceptionally intelligent creatures.
Here are some of the few interesting findings about elephants:
a. Elephants have an incredible memory: they know the routes to areas where they have been years ago, such as: watering holes where they drink from and have abandoned for years, when they need it, they go to the exact location. Elephants form close bonds with companions that they meet long ago, in their youth or their very young age, and they have friends, often hanging around those that aren’t close relatives.
b. They can use tools to their advantage: Elephants have been known to use tools to scratch themselves, have been observed digging holes to reach water, and stacking up rocks to reach fruits they couldn’t otherwise reach.
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5. Parrots: The word parrot have been used by humans to describe someone who is a talker, because that’s what the parrots are known for. Parrots are birds of more than 300 species, found in subtropical areas and are known to speak in various contexts in any language of your choice as far as they have heard it. This is one of their numerous unique features that makes people consider them as very intelligent animals. Others are:
a. Parrots can communicate with humans in their own language: Parrots, especially the African grey parrot, can learn an array of human words and use it to communicate with people. Even though they may not be coherent but what they usually do is that, if they have caught you saying some particular words they would use those words whenever they see you. This also signifies that they have a sharp memory.
b. Except if they have been trained from birth to stay in a cage, parrots are hard to capture: unlike pigeons and some other species of birds, parrots are known to have the ability to escape from cages. This is because they follow their instincts and their instincts says that they should always be free and flying about like birds, so that’s exactly what they do.
There are other notable smart animals like octopuses, pigs, gorillas, raccoons, crows and pigeons, but I honestly think the list is inexustive, as humans are always on the lookout for animals of every specie to know which one outsmarts the other and who knows, there may be a Panda somewhere somewhere that is smarter than a dog, Chimpanzee or Dolphin. I just hope we find something of the sort, it’s going to be so much fun.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.