Have you ever wondered which are the most intelligent animals living on planet Earth? Although there are thousands of animal species on our planet, not all of them have the same capabilities. In this article we are going to tell you which animals are considered “the most intelligent”
What are the most intelligent animal species on the planet?
Orangutans are great apes native to the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia. They are now found only in parts of Borneo and Sumatra, but during the Pleistocene they were widespread throughout Southeast Asia and southern China. Classified in the genus Pongo, orangutans were originally considered a single species. As of 1996, they were divided into two species: the Bornean orangutan (P. pygmaeus, with three subspecies) and the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii). A third species, the Tapanuli orangutan (P. tapanuliensis), was definitively identified in 2017
Orangutans, the most arboreal of the great apes, spend most of their time in trees. They have proportionally long arms and short legs, and the body is covered with reddish-brown fur. Adult males weigh about 75 kg (165 lb), while females reach about 37 kg (82 lb)
Dominant adult males develop distinctive cheek pads or ridges and emit long calls that attract females and intimidate rivals; younger subordinate males do not and more closely resemble adult females. Orangutans are the most solitary of the great apes: social bonds are mainly between mothers and their dependent offspring.
Fruit is the most important component of the orangutan diet, but they also eat vegetation, bark, honey, insects and bird eggs. They can live more than 30 years, both in the wild and in captivity.
Orangutans are among the most intelligent primates. They use a variety of sophisticated tools and build elaborate nightly sleeping nests out of branches and foliage. The learning ability of apes has been studied extensively. There may be distinctive cultures within populations. Orangutans have appeared in literature and art since at least the 18th century, especially in works commenting on human society
Primatologist Biruté Galdikas was the first to conduct field studies of these apes, which have been kept in captive facilities around the world since at least the early 19th century.
All three species of orangutans are considered critically endangered. Human activities have caused severe declines in their populations and ranges. Threats to wild orangutan populations include poaching (for bushmeat and retaliation for crop consumption), habitat destruction and deforestation (for palm oil cultivation and logging), and the illegal pet trade. Several conservation and rehabilitation organizations are dedicated to the survival of orangutans in the wild.
Bottlenose dol phins are aquatic mammals of the genus Tursiops. They are common, cosmopolitan members of the family Delphinidae, the oceanic dolphin family
They inhabit warm and temperate seas throughout the world, being found everywhere except in the Arctic and Antarctic Circle regions. Their name derives from the Latin tursio (dolphin) and truncatus for their characteristic truncated teeth.
Much research has been done on the intelligence of bottlenose dolphins, examining mimicry, use of artificial language, object categorization and self-recognition.
They can use tools (sponging; using marine sponges to forage for food sources they would not normally be able to access) and pass on cultural knowledge from generation to generation, and their considerable intelligence has driven interaction with humans
Bottlenose dolphins became popular through aquarium shows and television programs such as Flipper. They have also been trained by the military to locate sea mines or detect and mark enemy divers.
In some areas, they cooperate with local fishermen by pulling fish into their nets and eating escaped fish. Some encounters with humans are harmful to dolphins: people hunt them for food, and dolphins are inadvertently killed as bycatch in tuna fishing and by getting caught in crab traps.
They have the third largest encephalization level of all mammals on Earth (humans have the largest), sharing proportions close to those of humans and other great apes, which more than likely contributes to their high intelligence and emotional intelligence.
The chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), also known simply as the chimpanzee, is a species of great ape native to the jungle and savanna of tropical Africa.
It lives in groups of between 15 and 150 members, although individuals travel and forage in much smaller groups during the day. The species lives in a strict hierarchy dominated by males, where disputes are generally resolved without the need for violence
Chimpanzees show numerous signs of intelligence, from the ability to remember symbols to cooperation, tool use, and perhaps language They are among the species that have passed the mirror test, suggesting that they have self-awareness
They have been observed to use insects to treat their own and others’ wounds. They capture them and apply them directly to the wound. Chimpanzees also show signs of intergroup culture, with learning and transmission of variations in grooming, tool use, and foraging techniques resulting in localized traditions.
Almost all chimpanzee populations have been recorded using tools, modifying sticks, rocks, grass and leaves and using them to hunt and acquire honey, termites, ants, nuts and water. This species has also been found creating sharpened sticks to harpoon small mammals. Their gestation period is eight months. The calf is weaned at three years of age, but usually maintains a close relationship with its mother for several more years.
The chimpanzee is included in the IUCN Red List as a species in danger of extinction danger of extinction. It is estimated that there are between 170,000 and 300,000 chimpanzees throughout its range. The greatest threats to the chimpanzee are habitat loss, poaching and disease
Chimpanzees appear in Western popular culture as stereotypical clown figures and have appeared in entertainments such as chimpanzee tea parties, circus acts and stage shows. They are sometimes kept as mascots, although their strength, aggressiveness and unpredictability make them dangerous in this role. A few hundred have been kept in laboratories for research, especially in the United States. Many attempts have been made to teach chimpanzees languages such as American Sign Language, with limited success.
Elephants are the largest land animals in existence larger that exist. Three living species are currently recognized: the African forest elephant, the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant
Elephants are characterized by a long trunk, tusks, large ear flaps, spine-like legs and tough but sensitive skin. The trunk is used for breathing, carrying food and water to the mouth and grasping objects. The tusks, derived from incisor teeth, serve as both weapons and tools for moving objects and digging.
The large ear flaps aid in maintaining a constant body temperature as well as communication. African elephants have larger ears and concave backs, while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs.
Calves are the center of attention in their family groups and are dependent on their mothers until they are three years old. Elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. They communicate by touch, sight, smell and sound; elephants use infrasonic and seismic communication over long distances. Elephant intelligence has been compared to that of primates and cetaceans. They appear to have self-awareness and seem to show empathy for dying or dead family members.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies African bush elephants and Asian elephants as endangered and African forest elephants as critically endangered. One of the biggest threats to elephant populations is the ivory trade, as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks
Other threats to wild elephants include habitat destruction and conflicts with local people. Elephants are used as work animals in Asia. In the past, they were used in warfare; today, they are often exhibited in zoos or exploited for entertainment in circuses. Elephants are highly recognizable and appear in art, folklore, religion, literature and popular culture.
The common raven (Corvus corax), also known as the western raven or northern raven when discussing the raven at the subspecies level, is a large, black passerine bird. It is found throughout the northern hemisphere and is the most widely distributed corvid
Although their typical lifespan is considerably shorter, common ravens can live more than 23 years in the wild. Young birds may travel in flocks, but later mate for life, with each paired pair defending a territory.
Common ravens have coexisted with humans for thousands of years and in some areas have been so numerous that people have considered them pests. Part of their success as a species is due to their omnivorous diet: they are extremely versatile and opportunistic in finding sources of nutrition, feeding on carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, nesting birds and food scraps.
Some remarkable feats of problem solving demonstrate that the common raven is unusually intelligent
The brain of the common raven is one of the largest of any bird species. Specifically, their hyperpallium is large for a bird. They show skill in problem solving, as well as other cognitive processes such as imitation and insight.
Linguist Derek Bickerton, building on the work of biologist Bernd Heinrich, has argued that crows are one of only four known animals (the others being bees, ants, and humans) that have demonstrated displacement, the ability to communicate about objects or events that are distant in space or time.
Subadult crows roost together at night, but often forage alone during the day. However, when one of them discovers a large carcass guarded by a pair of adult crows, the unmated crow will return to the roost and communicate the find. The next day, a flock of unmated crows will fly to the carcass and chase the adults away. Bickerton argues that the emergence of linguistic displacement was perhaps the most important event in the evolution of human language, and that crows are the only other vertebrate to share it with humans.
An experiment designed to assess insight and problem-solving ability involved a piece of meat tied to a string hanging from a perch. To reach the food, the bird had to position itself on the perch, pull the string upward a little at a time, and step on the loops to gradually shorten the string. Four of the five common ravens eventually succeeded, and “the transition from being unsuccessful (ignoring the food or simply pulling the string) to reliable and consistent access (pulling the meat) occurred without demonstrable trial-and-error learning.” This supports the hypothesis that common ravens are “inventors,” implying that they can solve problems
It was previously argued that many of the exploits of common ravens were stereotyped innate behaviors, but it has now been established that their individual problem-solving and learning-from-others skills reflect a flexible capacity for intelligent insight unusual among nonhuman animals. Another experiment showed that some common ravens could intentionally deceive their conspecifics.
A study published in 2011 found that crows can recognize when they are treated unfairly during reciprocal interactions with conspecifics or humans, retaining the memory of the interaction for an extended period of time. It was found that birds that received fair treatment from experimenters preferred to interact with experimenters compared to those that did not. In addition, crows in the wild have been observed to stop cooperating with other crows if they observe them cheating during group tasks.
Common ravens have been observed to call wolves to the site of dead animals. The wolves open the carcass, leaving the leftovers more accessible to the birds
They observe where other common ravens bury their food and remember the location of each other’s food caches, so they can steal from them. This type of theft occurs so frequently that common ravens fly additional distances from a food source to find better food caches. They have also been observed pretending to make a hide without actually depositing food, presumably to confuse onlookers.
They are known to steal and store shiny objects such as pebbles, pieces of metal, and golf balls. One theory is that they hoard shiny objects to impress other crows. Other research indicates that juveniles are very curious about all things new and that common ravens retain an attraction to shiny, round objects based on their similarity to bird eggs. Mature birds lose their intense interest in the unusual and become very neophobic.
The first large-scale assessment of the cognitive abilities of crows suggests that, at four months of age, crows are as good as adult chimpanzees and orangutans on tests of causal reasoning, social learning, theory of mind, etc.
Over the centuries, it has been the subject of mythology, folklore, art and literature. In many cultures, such as those indigenous to Scandinavia, ancient Ireland and Wales, Bhutan, the northwest coast of North America, Siberia and northeast Asia, the common raven has been revered as a spiritual figure or divine creature.
African Grey Parrot
The gray parrot (Psittacus erithacus), also known as the Congo gray parrot, African Congo gray parrot or African gray parrot, is an Old World parrot of the family Psittacidae.
Grey parrots are highly intelligent and are considered by many to be one of the most intelligent of the psittacine species. Many individuals have been shown to perform at the cognitive level of a four- to six-year-old human child on some tasks. Several studies have been conducted that indicate a high-level set of cognitive abilities
Experiments have shown that grey parrots can learn numerical sequences and can learn to associate human voices with the faces of the humans who create them. Grey parrots have been reported to be able to use familiar English words to create new labels for objects whose names the bird does not know. For example, “banerry” (“banana” + “cherry”) for “apple”, “banana crackers” for “dried banana chips” or “yummy bread” for “cake”.
U.S. scientist Irene Pepperberg’s research with Alex the parrot demonstrated his ability to learn more than 100 words and differentiate between objects, colors, materials and shapes. Pepperberg spent several decades working with Alex and wrote numerous scientific papers on the experiments conducted, which indicated his advanced cognitive abilities. One of these studies found that Alex had the ability to add numbers, as well as a concept of zero, similar to that of toddlers and apes.
In addition to their amazing cognitive abilities, grey parrots have shown altruistic behavior and concern for others. The researchers found that while blue-headed macaws were unlikely to share a nut with other members of their own species, gray parrots would actively give a nut to their species mate, even if it meant they couldn’t get one themselves. When the roles were reversed, their mates were overwhelmingly likely to return the favor, giving up their own nut for the benefit of their mate. This indicates not only a display of selflessness, but also an act of reciprocity.
A 2012 study showed that captive grey parrots have individual musical preferences. When presented with the opportunity to choose between two different pieces of music via a touch-screen monitor placed in their cage, the two test birds consistently chose different songs, to which they then danced and sang along. It has also been observed that some domestic grey parrots use the music function of smart speakers (such as Alexa or Amazon Echo) to verbally request the playback of specific favorite songs.
Some research has shown that leg preference may be related to the number of words a particular parrot can know and use. Researchers found that grey parrots that prefer to use their right foot showed a marked increase in the number of words within their lexicon compared to parrots that had the left foot Scientists postulate that parrots may have a lateralization of brain function, just like mammals.
The octopus is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusk of the order Octopoda (/ɒkˈtɒpədə/, ok-TOP-ə-də). The order consists of about 300 species and is grouped within the class Cephalopoda with the squids, cuttlefishes, and nautiloids. Like other cephalopods, an octopus is bilaterally symmetrical, with two eyes and a beak-like mouth at the central point of the eight limbs[a] The soft body can radically alter its shape, allowing octopuses to squeeze through small gaps. They carry their eight appendages behind them while swimming
The siphon is used for both respiration and locomotion, expelling a jet of water. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and excellent eyesight, and are among the most intelligent and behaviorally diverse invertebrates.
Octopuses inhabit various regions of the ocean, such as coral reefs, pelagic waters and the seafloor; some live in the intertidal zone and others in the abyssal depths. Most species grow rapidly, mature early and are short-lived
In most species, the male uses a specially adapted arm to deposit a sperm bundle directly into the female’s mantle cavity, after which he becomes senescent and dies, while the female deposits the fertilized eggs in a den and cares for them until they hatch, after which she also dies.
Strategies to defend against predators include the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and threat displays, the ability to rapidly surf the water and hide, and even deception. All octopuses are venomous, but only blue-ringed octopuses are known to be deadly to humans.
Octopuses appear in mythology as sea monsters, such as the Kraken of Norway and the Akkorokamui of the Ainu, and probably the Gorgon of ancient Greece. A battle with an octopus appears in Victor Hugo’s The Workers of the Sea, which inspired other works such as Ian Fleming’s Octopussy. Octopuses appear in Japanese erotic art, shunga. They are eaten and considered a delicacy by humans in many parts of the world, especially in the Mediterranean and Asian seas.
Octopuses are very intelligent. Maze and problem-solving experiments have demonstrated the existence of a memory system that can store both short-term and long-term memory. Young octopuses learn nothing from their parents, since the adults provide no parental care beyond caring for their eggs until the young octopuses hatch.
In laboratory experiments, octopuses can be easily trained to distinguish between different shapes and patterns. They have been reported to practice learning by observation, although the validity of these findings is disputed
Octopuses have also been observed in what has been described as play: repeatedly dropping bottles or toys into a circular stream in their aquaria and then catching them Octopuses often leave their aquaria and sometimes enter others in search of food The veined octopus collects discarded coconut shells and then uses them to build a shelter, an example of tool use.