While we pride ourselves in being the most intelligent species, some animals aren't far beyond. With abilities such as reasoning, social status, and problem solving these animals make a name for themselves as being smartypants.
Humans and Chimpanzees are not too far apart. We share 98% of our genomes with these hairy primates, so of course they would have 98% of our intelligence. Chimps make and use tools, solve complex problems, hunt in organized groups, and engage in acts of humor or violence. Chimps can also show altruism, empathy, and self-awareness.
Not only do these dolphins have one of the biggest animal brains, but they are also known to be one of the smartest species. Bottlenose dolphins have advanced communication skills. They speak through a language of whistles and clicks, and can even call each other by name.
Forget the mud, pigs are actually very smart and clean creatures. Research has shown that a pig has the intellectual capacity of a 3-year-old. In a 1990 study, pigs were trained to move a video game cursor with their snout to distinguish scribbled lines they have seen before verses scribbled lines they were seeing for the first time. They learned this task as quickly as chimpanzees.
While their renowned ability to talk may be merely mimicry, parrots have an amazing memory. They also possess reasoning abilities that allow them to solve basic math and relativity problems. Their knowledge goes beyond associating the sounds of words with a meaning; parrots can generalize groups of objects, just like humans.
Although intelligence level varies across breeds, dogs in general learn new skills quickly. Dogs can understand up to 250 words, the same as a toddler. The smartest breeds include the Border Collie, German Shepherd, Poodle, and Golden Retriever. But, it is their emotional intelligence that makes them man’s best friend.
Octopuses, or octopi, are known as one of the smartest invertebrates. They have highly evolved emotions, intelligence, and even individual responsibility. What makes octopuses unique in their intellectual abilities is that the majority of their neurons are in their arms, not their brain, unlike humans and most animals.
Don’t underestimate squirrels just because they are small. They have very great, but very focused intelligence on one thing: gathering food. They have an insane ability to remember where they stored food. They are also very fast learners and can adapt to changes in their environment quickly.
When it comes to animal intelligence, you probably didn’t think cows would make the list. But believe it or not, cows are very emotionally evolved creatures. Studies have shown that they have best friends and they become depressed when they are separated from their BFF. Cows also develop social hierarchies and can hold grudges.
While they might creep some people out, rats are smarter than you think. They have great long-term memory, can adapt to changes quickly, and can solve complex problems. They can understand causal relationships, A causes B, like humans and our close primate relatives.
While we might think raccoon are menaces for getting into our trash, we have to give them props for being so resourceful. Raccoons are able to form social relationship and use tools to solve complex problems, like breaking into a trashcan, or worse, a house.