Humans are pretty smart, don’t you think? We’ve put a man on the moon. We invented Slim Jims. Water parks are an awesome human creation too. But before you get all on your high horse, let’s not forget that we share the planet with a lot of brainy animals. Let’s get back on track and look at the top 10 smartest animals in the world.
There’s a popular belief that elephants never forget. Unlike those nonsensical old wives’ tales (lobsters don’t scream when they’re boiled alive, guys), this one is actually true! Their cortex contains a lot of the same types of brain cells that exist in our own brains. Elephants have also been proven to recognize themselves in a mirror. They use seismic signals to communicate with their other elephant friends and are helpful and compassionate. And get this: they pay their respects when a member of their elephant community dies.
Dolphins are the clowns of the sea. For instance, they troll the hell out of octopuses. Yes, folks. They will actually scoop up the octopuses into their mouths and throw them up in the air purely for shits and giggles. But that’s not really the most impressive thing about Flipper. Every dolphin has its own distinct whistle, and if one dolphin wants to call on the other, it will mimic that particular whistle. It’s sort of the equivalent of giving each other names. Dolphins are also extremely hospitable towards humans. For example, they will defend us against sharks (that’s pretty badass of them!) and they will even give fisherman a signal when it’s time to throw down a net. Whatever doesn’t get caught in the net ends up in the dolphin’s tummy, so it’s really a win-win situation.
I really wish dogs could have been higher on this list. I love my dogs (Mister Toby, Mister Boo and Mister Logan, if you were curious to know). But let’s face it: they are goofballs. They’re still pretty smart though. They are naturally easy to train, can learn as many as 165 words, and understand human non-verbal cues better than any other member of the animal kingdom. They also demonstrate compassion and a whole lot of traits that are practically human.
Listen, guys. We understand that octopuses are selfish animals. I mean, who needs eight legs? Can’t they at least donate a couple of them to snakes or something? But they are also far more intelligent than you might given them credit for. It has been found that they have distinct personalities, have basic problem-solving skills, and even entertain themselves when they feel bored.
Pigs are super clever. It’s kind of a shame that they’re also super delicious. They can operate joysticks, mock brawl with each other like your favorite WWE superstars, solve mazes like a pig boss should, and they have excellent long-term memories. Oh, and they communicate with each other using 20 different distinct vocalizations. But once again, they make a delicious addition to a hamburger.
Holy crap! Rats can dream? They bond with their human owners? They respond to tickles with glee? I think I’ll just go ahead and make my way to the sewers and collect a few pets! Okay, maybe not. But, yes, rats really are one of the brainiest animals around. They recognize their names (Yoohoo, Mister Ratty McRatface?) and, much like dogs, will ask to be let out of their cage so they can play.
Crows are total trolls to cats, guys. Just look at a few YouTube videos and you’ll see what I mean. They are exceptionally intelligent. They can solve problems and there’s even a story about a girl in Seattle who feeds crows and receives gifts in a show of gratitude. Crows can also distinguish between “friendly” and “hostile” human faces. I’m pretty sure I would fall into the former category.