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10 Smartest Animals in the World, from Apes to Birds

25 June 2024 11:27 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaSome types of animals in the world possess a surprisingly high level of intelligence. Intelligence is characterized by the ability to overcome problems in nature, having a strong memory, or tactics in dealing with technical obstacles, such as fighting predators or getting to the target of prey.

The non-profit organization, The Humane League, compiled a list of several fauna species with high levels of intelligence. However, there are no uniform standards for assessing the intelligence of various animal species or accurately comparing it to humans.

The assessment is carried out by considering various factors, starting from learning and interaction abilities, memory capacity, communication methods, calculations, and perception of time. Here are the 10 most intelligent animals in the world: 

1. African Gray Parrot

African Gray Parrots are best known for their ability to repeat words and phrases after hearing them only once or twice. In a 2019 study, researchers found that parrots’ reasoning and logic performance “better than most five-year-old humans.” 

2. Bee

In a book titled The Mind of Bees, ecologist Lars Chittka discovered that some “genius bees” learn tasks faster than others and are able to teach the entire colony. He also said bees can sense objects in the dark and use their imagination to respond to stimuli.

3. Bottlenose Dolphin

Dolphins have the largest brain-to-body ratio among other animal species, including primates. These marine mammals also have brain cells called “spindle neurons” that give dolphins the ability to recognize themselves, store memories, solve problems, use language, and adapt to change.

4. Chimpanzee

Chimpanzees share about 99 percent of the same DNA as humans. Thus, it’s unsurprising that great apes are social creatures who hunt cooperatively, develop unique cultures from one community to another, and can communicate emotions.

5. Crocodile

As dangerous predators, it is not easy for scientists to observe crocodiles or their relatives, such as the American Alligator in the wild. However, research over the past few years shows that crocodiles have extraordinary hunting prowess by combining the ability to ambush, surround, and lure their prey.

6. Crow

Although considered a sign of bad luck in some countries, crows are one of the most intelligent animals in the world. Scientists discovered that crows can remember human faces for years. Additionally, based on a 2021 study, crows can observe the “same event”, but understand and process it differently.

7. Elephant

Several scientific reports show elephants have powerful recall abilities. For example, in 1999, two old elephant pals were reunited at a sanctuary in Tennessee, United States. They became so excited to approach each other after not seeing each other for about 23 years. Elephants are also insightful problem solvers, using trial and error systems to manipulate surroundings. 

8. Killer Whale

Orca whales or killer whales are a type of dolphin with unique hunting behavior. They pass down prey-catching techniques from generation to generation in a “pod” or a family of orcas. Thus, orcas are called cultural creatures, just like humans and the great apes.

9. Octopus

Octopuses have one brain that acts as the headquarters of the nervous system. However, this soft-bodied animal is also blessed with a "mini-brain" located in each of its tentacles, making a total of nine brains. With these brains, octopuses are skilled at figuring out puzzles and finding ways out of “difficult predicaments.”

10. Orangutan

As one of the most intelligent animals in the world, orangutans possess intelligence previously thought to be found only in humans. They can study objects and events in the past to use as references in the future, for example when encountering potential predators.

MELYNDA DWI PUSPITA

Editor’s Choice: Quebec Wildfires; Canada Evacuates Maximum-Security Prison 

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