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20 Most Intelligent Animals On Earth

When life first began to teem on the earth, the planet had only micro-organisms. Later, the land began to turn green with beautiful and mesmerizing flora all around. And at last, came the fauna, which was as diverse as the universe. With evolution playing its own game and conditions on the surface of earth changing constantly, intelligence of animals and their ability to adapt to changes turned out to be of the highest importance. And slowly but steadily, new animals, advanced in their own ways, began to show up on the planet.

From bacteria to plants to humans, time has seen many intelligent animals in the world. In today’s era, the globe is replete with such creatures with mind-boggling levels of intelligence. Let’s have look at the most intelligent animals in the world.

20. Octopus

 

To meet the first animal in the list of the most intelligent animals on the earth, we need to go to the very place where life had perhaps started. Let’s dive into the waters of the infinite expanse of oceans and meet this one of the most intelligent animals on the earth, namely the octopus. This creature is more terrific regarding its smartness than its powerful tentacles.

The eight-armed invertebrate is one of the most intelligent animals on the earth, especially in seawaters. Pretty smart in their moves, they have significantly large brains. What makes them even more intelligent is the fact that their brains are separated into folded lobes just like humans. There are more similarities between human and this on of the most intelligent animals on the earth, like the octopus uses different sections of its brain for visual recognition, a feature missing in most animals on the planet.

How many of you would believe me saying that this animal uses tools for various tasks, proving it to be one of the most intelligent animals on the earth? Can you imagine that Octopus also has a remarkable short-term memory and love playing? Scientists have confirmed that they also possess problem-solving skills. They have been observed to solve puzzles and mazes. This sea nerd certainly deserves a place in our list of the most intelligent animals on the earth.

 

19. Rats

 

When was the last time you screamed at the top of your voice on spotting this animal inside your home? Perhaps your voice reached a crescendo on seeing one of the most intelligent animals on the earth. Rats are highly intelligent, meticulous in their tasks and that is the reason why they are bred for scientific studies across the globe. Although you may consider rats as vermin but rats are certainly given a place in the list of the most intelligent animals on the earth because of the size of their brains with respect to their body.

Would you believe me if I said that rats have been successful in discovering loopholes and cracking and solving problems that even the most observant human eyes could not detect? The survival instincts of the most intelligent animals on the earth have helped it to survive and thrive in some of the most extreme environments on the planet.

And believe it or not, this creature also shares a special characteristic with the humans, i.e. metacognition. This trait has helped rats to detect explosives. Rats can display emotions, play with puzzles and hence they proudly stand as one of the most intelligent animals on the earth.

 

18. Squirrels

 

To find one of the most intelligent animals on the earth, you don’t need to always dive into oceans or peep into tiny holes or tunnels in your home. Just go out of your room and embrace the nature with open arms. Reach out to the trees and you will find another small yet one of the most intelligent animals in the world perching on tree tops or branches of trees, feeding on nuts and fruits.

Please don’t raise your eyebrows in wonder when you learn that squirrels are incidentally a proud entry in the list of the most intelligent animals in the world. If you are still in disbelief, try bringing one squirrel to your home. Put some nuts in a container, which is visible to the squirrel but not accessible to the little creature. You will soon understand that it is nearly an impossible task to stop this one of the most intelligent animals in the world from reaching out to the container and relish the nuts. These little creatures will jump, scale up and down the ropes leaving you behind in terms of energy and innovation.

And I can bet that you won’t be able to locate the food item taken by them anywhere on the earth. The reason being that these one of the most intelligent animals in the world is incidentally a master of faking buried food. They do this to keep scavengers away from the food they have earned through hook or crook. These qualities make squirrels one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

17. Crow

 

When was the last time you were driving your car merrily on the road and you were startled by a crackling sound? May be you just slipped into a plot set up be one of the most intelligent animals in the world! Don’t believe that?? Let me pull up the curtains from the mystery I have been cooking till now.

You perhaps drove your car over an acorn or a nutshell. And the conspirator was a crow! One of the most intelligent animals in the world, the crow has the largest brain amongst all birds, aside from a couple of parrots. Crows are also few of the proud birds, which can remember and recognize faces of human beings. And to give a stiff competition to the rodent squirrel, this avian creature is also adept at concealing food for it.

And don’t just think that these one of the most intelligent animals in the world just place nuts under running cars to break the shells open, they even throw the nuts from a height for the same purpose. Such is the intellect of this one of the most intelligent animals in the world that it has also learnt the usage of tools and that places it at the pinnacle of intelligent birds and makes it a proud entry in the list of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

16. Otter

 

When it comes to usage of tools, the crow is joined by another candidate in the list of the most intelligent animals in the world. The animal, this time, lives in water. From exhibiting flexible and elegant movements to exhilarating the spectators, the activities of otter are spectacles to behold.

One of the most intelligent animals in the world, otters love to play with their mates, dance in jollity and indulge in ecstasy with their friends. Creativity has no limits when it comes to this one of the most intelligent animals in the world. They have even been observed to use stones as tools to break the shell of tortoise for a delicious dinner. And not just turtles, oysters, crayfish and hordes of other animals can’t escape the innovative genius that resides inside each of the most intelligent animals in the world.

Never dare to stalk them. They are quick enough to sense the presence of predators by picking up vibrations from the waters. Who can deny giving them the title of one of the most intelligent animals in the world?

 

15. Pigs

 

How many animals have you seen or heard singing? You may perhaps recollect whales and birds doing that! But there is another creature in our list of the most intelligent animals in the world that sings to its offspring. Wondering what am I talking about?

Pigs! Yes, it is pigs you are reading about! No wonder one of the most intelligent animals in the world, pigs lead a very active social life. They will eat together, sleep together and even get dirty together. It is rare to observe a pig walking alone. Next time you see one; consider yourself to be too lucky.

Using different vocal sounds, these one of the most intelligent animals in the world convey their messages elegantly and effectively to their mates. If you have pigs around your home, don’t dare to leave food unguarded. Chances are high that you will end up losing your meal to one of the most intelligent animals in the world. Pigs steal food, gorge on the meals and then go away from their homes to defecate. That implies the homes of pigs are mostly clean. How can one deny giving them the status of being one of the most intelligent animals in the world even after knowing that pigs have the ability to return to their homes without getting lost, no matter how far they are from their homes?

One of the qualities of the most intelligent animals in the world is the ability to learn from mistakes committed in the past. Pigs have this quality. They are certainly a lot more than piece of bacon on your dining plate.

 

14. Elephant

 

One of the prime animals of India is also incidentally one of the most intelligent animals in the world. The elephant had a lot of significance in the ancient times for warfare, logistics and myriad of other things. Their dominance over the animal kingdom as one of the most intelligent animals in the world was established much before the modern civilization came into being.

The gigantic mammal has the largest brain on the planet. Elephants are known for their social life. They live and roam in groups. It is rare to spot an elephant living alone. Learning from past and surroundings is something these one of the most intelligent animals in the world have set an example in. Can you imagine the elephants have the capability to listen to infrasound and can pick up sound waves through feet as well? What also makes them one of the most intelligent animals in the world is the fact that they can also recognize hundreds of different types of sounds and can even mimic a couple of them.

Usage of tools and display of emotions- these two things are done by elephants in an excellent manner. They have also been observed to greave for the deceased by touching the remains of their dead fellow mates, something that shows a different story of one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

13. Dog

 

Oh wow! The dog-lovers have begun jumping on their seats!! I am sure that dog-owners would have been dying to see their pet in the list of the most intelligent animals in the world. If you are an owner of a dog, let me tell you that your dog has the intelligence of a two-year old human child. Just like human kids of two years of age can track scent and can comprehend and follow commands, similarly dogs also can do these tasks and hence they assume a position in the list of the most intelligent animals in the world. They can smell, remember and distinguish – without a trace of error – nearly a million different odors.

The ability of finding hidden objects with smell is something that makes dogs one of the most intelligent animals in the world. And the most intelligent animals in the world have also been noticed to be the most social. The same applies for the dogs. Dogs are very social in their outlook. They can be the best friends for their owners and the fiercest enemy of predators.

Leave this one of the most intelligent animals in the world outside far away from your home and you will see in a single day, they will return to their home, finding and locating their home from great far-off distances. Quick to pick-up human emotions and react in accordance, they are one of the most advanced species on the planet. If you have a dog as your pet, my dear reader, you have one of the most intelligent animals in the world at your own home.

 

 

12. Dolphin

 

We have read a lot about many of the most intelligent animals in the world. But if you bring a mirror in front of them, they all will be startled, terrified and will grow violent to see the duplicate of their self in front of them. But there is one animal that will stay silent and calm, smiling as it always does. That animal is none other than one of the most intelligent animals in the world, the dolphin.

If you always believed that dolphins have a smiling face, your knowledge was perhaps a bit inadequate. For the dolphins are also known to display emotions like laughter. And that is not all about this one of the most intelligent animals in the world!

This animal emits ultrasonic sounds in water during its hunting time. To the humans, sometimes this gives an illusion of dolphins singing in water. How many of us can sleep with only half of our brain sleeping? Sounds weird, right? It is certainly weird for the humans but not for this creature because it keeps half of its brain active even during its sleep. But, why? Well, for the simple reason that half of its brain must be active to keep this one of the most intelligent animals in the world rise up in the air for breath and keep it cautious of predators.

It also resembles humans in one more aspect. I am sure that you must have had at-least once in your life checked the ‘I don’t know’ option in your objective examinations. Well, if you think humans are alone to do that, you are wrong! Although dolphins, being one of the most intelligent animals in the world, have shown brilliant problem-solving skills, yet they have also been observed to check the ‘I don’t know’ option in some tests, where they did not know the answer.

An excellent pet and an avid learner; this animal is easy to be trained by humans and is definitely one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

11. Squids

 

Let me introduce you to the invertebrate genius, whose skills make it one of the most intelligent animals in the world. Take all the invertebrates of the ocean on one side and squid on the other and you will find the difference in features of brain between squid and all other invertebrates; which makes squids one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

The complexities in the brain of the squid are similar to the intricate designs of human brain. These are one of the most intelligent animals in the world and show keen interest in learning from the environment. Apart from all this, squids are also lifelong learners and have always shown great interest in learning the usage of tools for their daily use. Such skills help them fight boredom and their predators equally.

Being one of the most intelligent animals in the world also needs to be an edge above the others. The squids possess a special ability to locate and capture the prey using their reasoning power. And if any predator attacks the squid, the latter bites off its own arm tip. The arm tip floats off in the water, sparkling its blue lights in darkness of underwater regions and hence lures the enemy away from the squid. If this does not advocate for squids being one of one of the most intelligent animals in the world, then what else does?

 

10. Spiders

 

The next time you scream out on seeing this eight legged creature in your home, do remember that you are warding off one of the most intelligent animals in the world. It is no crime to ward them off if you don’t like their presence. But let me also tell you that these insects also possess a proportionately great amount of intelligence.

From learning new skills to learning the old ones learnt, spiders are full of innovation. The jumping spider has been observed to strategize before attacking a prey or conquering over some other spider’s territory. One of the most intelligent animals in the world, the spiders have object persistence. They take long detours to attack their prey from behind, like an ambush.

Another spider, which is at the pinnacle of the most intelligent animals in the world, Portia is the Newton of arthropod kingdom. It plans meticulously to attack other spiders. This spider is of the size of a raisin but has visual acuity at par with that of pigeon and cat.

 

9. Ants

 

The masters of swarm intelligence, the ants are one of the best examples of the most intelligent animals in the world. A large fraction of calamities that threaten the existence of life on the earth, still don’t have the potential to wipe out the ants from the world. These one of the most intelligent animals in the world, are adept in making colonies in massive groups and hunt for food through collective efforts, some others meant just for fetching food, etc. This one of the most intelligent animals in the world adjusts very well to the environment it lives.

How many times have you seen an ant roaming on the floor or the ground? Well, may be infinite number of times! If you have never had the diabolic idea of disturbing their movement on their trajectory, you would have noticed that the ants return to their holes without an error. The process of tracking using smell is at its best used by ants as they use it to navigate to their homes, regardless of how far they have gone.

These, one of the most intelligent animals in the world, organize their search, optimizing between best and shortest paths and then following this optimal path to and fro. The collective of these one of the most intelligent animals in the world makes a highly efficient network that baffles computer scientists too.

 

8. Baboons

 

Let’s enter the world of monkeys. A place – where we belong to as well – where we have one of the most intelligent animals in the world. They are known to possess cognitive abilities that are found in orangutans and chimpanzees. If you ever have a look at these one of the most intelligent animals in the world, you will be able to spot a lot of similarities. If you are ever in stress, reach out to the baboons. These creatures know very well how to handle stress and pressure and how to mitigate them.

Quite social in their outlook, this one of the most intelligent animals in the world is an expert in creating extremely intricate social structures. Critical thinking is their forte when they are confronted with dire situations. Experts in spatial tasks, baboons regard social intelligence with high importance. They are good with tool usage to crack open the shells of crabs and other tasks.

Baboon is the best evidence of ‘social intelligence hypothesis. The hypothesis claims that increased complexity in social living and group size led to the enlargement of the human brain. This is the reason why baboons are one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

7. Owls

 

Time to fly! Time to fly high with one of the most intelligent animals in the world, the owl! Since centuries, owl has been associated with wisdom and sapience. Although the owl falls in the lower range of avian intelligence, it deserves attention because of its remarkable sighting skills.

The eyes of the owl provide excellent stereoscopic vision in faint light too. The owl – one of the most intelligent animals in the world – also has its highly sharp and sensitive ears buried deep in the feathers on each side of its head. The sharpness of the sound along with the fractions of milliseconds of arrival of sound on each side helps the owl to locate the position of sound source accurately.

One species of this one of the most intelligent animals in the world also uses its own dung and the excreta of other animals to trap delicious beetles in this clandestine bait. The almost silent flight accompanied by its sharp unfailing vision and hearing capabilities makes owl one of the most intelligent animals in the world and a superb invincible predator of the night.

 

6. Orangutans

 

The list of the most intelligent animals in the world is adorned by another candidate from the ape world. The orangutans are examples of one of the most intelligent animals in the world. They are perhaps among the most intelligent primates. Can you believe that orangutans build elaborate sleeping nests every night for sleeping? What if I tell you that all this construction is done by the use of some basic tools and tree branches and foliage? All this takes just 5-6 minutes! Unbelievable!!

At Zoo Atlanta, visitors get to witness a totally different atmosphere at the place where orangutans – one of the most intelligent animals in the world – have been kept. A touch-screen computer exhilarates the orangutans as they play games on that device. Moreover, these apes have also been observed to use ‘calculated reciprocity’, a phenomenon that involves weighing the costs and benefits of gift exchanges and keeping track of these over time. Orangutans are the only non-humans to be able to do so, making them one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

5. Horse

 

After going through rodents, birds and sea creatures, it is time to surge ahead with speed. And when it comes to speed, how can we forget horses? This one of the most intelligent animals in the world has the capability to get trained by humans at a quick speed.

They are generally a prey for other carnivores. Over the centuries, they have been regularly been bitten by the bug of evolution and the innate ability to  run at speeds that challenge the winds, comes from the basic premise that either they must escape or they must fall a prey to hungry mouths and stomach. The instinctive fight response in horses makes them one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

The horses love to exist in herds, which also involves complex communications with their fellow herd-mates. Quick to pick up human sign languages and gesture commands, horses have been the best friend of humans. This brings the equine animal in our list of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

4. Pigeons

 

One of the avian creatures which has the ability of geo location embedded into its body. The pigeons have abundance of intellectual abilities, which makes them one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

Will you ever believe that this bird has the talent of remembering and accurately recognizing hundreds of images even after several years have passed? Along with dolphins, this one of the most intelligent animals in the world also has the capability of recognizing oneself in the mirror. It is easy to train and teach the pigeons to perform a sequence of movements.

This bird tends to remember places and objects for years. Their importance was well documented in history as there are texts that suggest that pigeons were used for messaging and for warfare.

 

3. Sea lions

 

Life began under the sea waters. And then was born intelligence as well at the same time. That is perhaps the reason why we need to retreat to the seas and oceans again and again to find the most intelligent animals in the world.

Sea lions are one of the most intelligent animals in the world. They are one of those few creatures on the earth that has shown the ability of critical reasoning and logical analysis. If a = b and b = c, then a = c. Sounds simple, right? What is the big deal with this with us? Yes, it is not! But when you talk about the sea lions possessing this logical reasoning capability, it raises eyebrows.

These sea creatures are also known to be one of the most intelligent animals in the world, since they can be easily trained to perform special movements and tasks by trainers. Wait a second, my readers! The sea lions have also been deployed by US Navy for certain military operations too. Such is the high stature of this one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

2. Sheep

 

Don’t listen to the world when it asks you not to follow the herd like a sheep! I say that because this one of the most intelligent animals in the world possesses one of the best and most powerful memories on the earth. Can you imagine that their memory is even better than the humans? If you don’t believe that, go to a farm and steal a sheep. The rest of the herd will identify the absence of one of their friends.

The range of emotions exhibited by this animal is also quite large. Being one of the most intelligent animals in the world, the sheep has advanced learning abilities. It is known to map its surroundings mentally and plan ahead.

So, as I said, don’t listen to those who ask you not to be a sheep in the herd. You are perhaps following one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

 

1. Humans

 

At last! At last!! We rise to the peak of evolution and the summit of the mountain of the most intelligent animals in the world. The zenith of animal kingdom belongs to us, the humans!

With the ever-increasing number of connections along with the growing complexity of human brain, the humans are marching ahead unchallenged as the most intelligent animals in the world. From the use of tools to launching rockets to even marking our presence on other planets and the moon to even making devices that help us to dive deepest into the ocean and fly the highest in the skies, humans have done it all.

No wonder humans are at the top of all other animals on the earth and are the most intelligent animal in the world.

 

So now when you know the most intelligent animals in the world, just ask yourself “will you look at world the same way you used to look before?” The answer, I hope, will come out to be a resounding NO, in case you did not know about most of aspects of animals shared today.  Go out, and although we are at the apex of intelligence, let’s show respect for all creatures those are existing on this planet.