Have you ever wondered which animals are the most intelligent on Earth? Research has shown that animals are much smarter than we give them credit. In some ways, they might even be smarter than us! Today we’re going to show you the 25 Most Intelligent Animals On Earth That Might Surprise You.
As a side note, testing and evaluating animal intelligence is very difficult. Comparing and contrasting the results across different species is almost impossible and can be highly subjective. Therefore, this list is not ranked. Rather, we are highlighting animals that have shown surprising levels of intelligence. Also, humans are not being considered in this list other than to act as a standard of intelligence.
With average mental abilities similar to those of a 2-year-old baby, dogs are one of the most intelligent animals and smartest pets overall. The smartest breeds (border collie, poodle, and German shepherd) are capable of learning up to 250 words, signals, and gestures. According to a study carried out by the canine expert Stanley Coren, most dogs would even beat 4-year-old humans in basic arithmetic and social skills.
Energetic and noticeably intelligent birds, jays are the only animal besides humans who plan their actions based on how they think they’ll feel in the future. Studies have shown jays plan what kind of food they’ll want for breakfast the next morning, how much and where they’ll consume it. Then they store away the right amount in the right place. A captive jay was also observed to use a scrap of paper from the bottom of his cage as a tool to reach a pile of food outside its cage.
Squirrels have always been considered very smart creatures. They are even known for their creative methods of getting into bird feeders. However, what makes them different from other intelligent animals is their unique ability to deceive. A recent scientific study found that squirrels actually engage in deceptive or even paranoid behavior. When being watched, they’ll construct fake caches to bury a fake nut while keeping the real nut in a pocket near their armpit.
Despite having a brain the size of a poppy seed, the bumble bee is a surprisingly smart insect. They keep their nests at a constant temperature, avoid foraging close to home for fear of leading predators to it, and can even become paranoid for fear of camouflaged predators. Moreover, when pollinating flowers, these insects can solve a fiendish navigational problem that even our computers struggle to crack as they will always find the most efficient route.
Most people don’t associate intelligence with fishes, but scientists have found that not only can fishes perceive their environments using complex senses, but that they can also coordinate hunts, remember and learn (sometimes better than rats and toddlers), and even use tools. The black-spotted tuskfish, for example, has got its feeding routine down to a science. It clamps a clam in its mouth and whams it into the rock until the clam shell breaks.