Top 10 Animals That Could Be Smarter Than You

They might be cute, charming, or intimidating, but watch out because these animals could be smarter than you! Here is the list of Top 10 animals that could be smarter than you.


raccoon facts

Whether your home is surrounded by trees or skyscrapers, which they’ve been known to scale, raccoons are likely part of your local wildlife population. They are some of the most adaptable creatures in the Americas and some of the most intelligent.

If you’re planning a freehand animal robbery, you’ll definitely want a raccoon leading your squad. In a bizarre study, raccoons could pick complex locks in fewer than 10 attempts, even after the locks were rearranged or flipped upside-down.

There have also been other studies that determined that thanks to their broad hearing range, raccoons literally hear earthworms moving underground, a skill quite beneficial in your heist if you ask me.


Meet the misunderstood American crow

Crows know physics! Not only can crows recognize faces to differentiate between predatory and benign species, but they also understand basic physics, like this lab crow who mastered water displacement to maneuver a treat within reach. 

Crows have been known to change entire migration patterns to avoid farms where crows have been killed in the past and may even memorize city garbage routes so they can snag the inevitable food droppings on trash day. 

Talk about some of the smartest animals! Cool, calculating, and known to harbor a grudge, crows shouldn’t be compared to gangsters, per se, but we do feel obligated to remind you that a group of them is called a murder. Smart but evil, a concerning combination!


5 zinc oxide alternatives for pigs compared - Farmers Weekly

Pigs may be man’s best friend, as well as some of the cutest pets. Like dogs, pigs have been shown to understand emotions, demonstrate empathy, solve mazes, learn simple symbolic languages and, most adorably, make best friends

As some of the smartest animals globally, the youngest pigs even put our youngest humans to shame. In an experiment where wee British piglets had to use mirrors to divine the path to a hidden bowl of food, piggies as young as six weeks old learned the concept of reflection within a few hours—a milestone that takes baby humans several months to grasp.


Glitter in my Kitchen: Octopuses vs Octopi

The true prison-breakers of the sea, these tentacled creatures have proven time and again their talents for popping lids off screw-top jars, compressing their bulky bodies through slit-small holes, and climbing impossibly out of aquarium tanks to their freedom. 

Otto, a German aquarium octopus, was even known to throw rocks at the glass and spray water at overhead lamps to short-circuit the annoyingly bright lights, on more than one occasion. 

Let’s add to their rap sheet the recent innovation of assembling shelters from coconut shells. We cannot deny that cephalopods will one day be our superiors.


Learn to pivot like a dolphin

These animals know how to cheat! Dolphins are often cited as the second smartest animals on Earth due to their relatively high brain-to-body size ratio, the capacity to show emotion, and impressive mimic now, the finery of the dumb apes who research them. 

Ings from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi suggest dolphins may also be the second-sneakiest animals on Earth. When dolphins at the Institute were trained to pick up litter in their tanks and exchange them with trainers for fish, one dolphin named Kelly discovered a way to game the system. By hiding scraps of litter under a rock in her tank, Kelly discretely tore single sheets of discarded paper into multiple pieces, then turned them in one at a time to maximize her fishy reward. Kelly’s clever deception, it seems, was no accident; researchers say she did it all on purpose. 


Bees Can Learn The Concept Of Zero, Study Finds : NPR

Yes, you heard it right. Honeybees have evolved what we call “swarm intelligence,” with up to 50,000 workers in a single colony coming together to make democratic decisions. 

When a hive gets too crowded in springtime, colonies deploy scouts to look for a new home. If any scouts disagree on where the settlement should build its next hive, they argue their case the civilized way: through a dance-off. 

Each scout performs a “waggle dance” for other scouts in an attempt to convince them of their spot’s merit; the more energetic the dance, the happier the scout was with his spot. The remainder of the colony votes with their bodies, flying to the area they prefer and joining in the dance until one potential hive reigns number 1 bee disco of the neighborhood. 


Status Check for African Elephants | NRDC

In case you’ve forgotten, elephants have incredible memories. They’re able to recall specific routes to watering holes over stunning stretches of terrain and for many years—and they never forget a friend, either. 

In 1999, an elephant named Shirley arrived at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Immediately, a resident elephant named Jenny became animated and playful. It wasn’t love at first sight; Jenny remembered Shirley from when they performed briefly in a circus together—22 years earlier.


Choosing the Right Chickens to Start Your Flock | Freedom Ranger Blog

Although chickens can sometimes have an unintelligent rap, they are actually brilliant. In fact, they can even differentiate certain shapes and colors. 

According to Melissa Caughey, clickers trained to peck at one of four different shapes, such as a circle, square, triangle, and rectangle, chickens in one study, could always pick their shape out of the grouping, no mat­ter how the shapes were arranged. 

When their particular shape was removed, the chickens looked quizzically for it and wouldn’t peck at the other shapes. When the correct shape was reintro­duced, they pecked at it as taught.


psittaciform | Definition & Characteristics | Britannica

African Greys are as smart as a three-year-old. Besides being able to mimic humans, parrots can solve puzzles based on logical reasoning. According to Live Science, these parrots are as smart as a three-year-old child. 

Parrots can conclude where to find a food reward from clues about its location and the absence of hints. An ability previously only seen in humans and other apes. It suggests that Grey parrots have some understanding of causality and that they can use this to reason about the world.  


chimpanzee | Facts, Habitat, & Diet | Britannica

Unsurprisingly, chimpanzees are among the most intelligent animals on this planet, next to humans, of course. Like how humans inherit their mother’s intelligence, chimpanzee’s intelligence greatly relies on their genes.

“They can learn words, play with objects, and even seem to mourn the deaths of their friends,” says National Geographic.

Chimps also have their way of making life a little easier. “Chimps are known to make and use tools for simple tasks like opening fruits and nuts. Studies have shown some of these primates to fashion spears to hunt smaller prey and long branches to dig for termites,” according to Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics.


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