20 Smartest Animals On The Planet

Orangutans

Orangutans

These guys are not only quite cute, but they are also capable of some truly complex tasks which, of course, takes the accompanying complex cognitive abilities to carry them out.

Pigeons

Pigeons

When someone says "bird brain" it's usually not a compliment, however, we also know that pigeons have long been used by people for their amazing skills when it comes to matters of geo location.



Crows

Crows

...And another bird makes the list.

Studies have shown that crows are very capable problem solvers.

Sheep

Sheep

I bet you didn't expect to see these guys on the list, however, the truth is that sheep are quite intelligent where the animal kingdom as a whole is concerned.

Studies have suggested that sheep have the best memory of all animals on earth, and in some ways, even better than people.



Raccoons

Raccoons

Not only do raccoons have quite complex social relationships, but they have also been observed using equally complex tools when getting stuff done.

Horses

Horses

Because many of us feel a certain bond with horses and they hold a certain place in our society, we sometimes feel like maybe we give them more credit than they are perhaps worth in terms of intelligence. But the truth is that they are indeed very smart. They are good at responding to complicated commands in stressful situations and have very good memories too.



Rhesus Monkeys

Rhesus Monkeys

These guys have been observed to act using very complex methods of attacking as a group, which suggests that they are very intelligent. Perhaps somewhat morbidly, another sign of their intelligence and ability to think is the fact that some have also been found to act in suicidal ways. Weird, huh?

Falcons

Falcons

It is in their methods of hunting that we may observe the falcon's intelligence at work. Of course, like pigeons, they have also been used to convey messages and their skills where memory and ability to follow commands is quite remarkable.



Rats

Rats

We often dismiss this little guys given the common perception of them and how gross they are. The thing about rats is that they have a great ability to adapt to new surrounding (as well as having a good memory). In fact, in his book, The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins hypothesized a future in which rats survived long after humans to evolve in to the dominant species of the planet.

Owls

Owls

There are a surprising amount of birds on this list, aren't there? However, perhaps only owls are ones which we often tend to think of in terms of intelligence; a "wise owl". The problem is that they aren't really that smart. They really shouldn't be on this list but we put them here simply because they are synonymous with intelligence, even though perhaps they don't deserve it.

 



Cats

Cats

Cats are great hunters; even domestic ones tend to know what to do when they need to. Of course, they are also smart enough to pay attention to you when they want something and totally ignore you when they have better things to do. I'd say that's pretty smart.

Squirrels

Squirrels

Okay, so they might not seem like it but squirrels are actually quite smart although, most of their intelligence seems to be focused on the gathering and storing of food. Their memories are quite amazing too.



Elephants

Elephants

Yeah, the whole "never forgets" thing...

Well, elephants are intelligent and you might want to put that down to their brains being quite big but let's not forget that it's really more about the size of the brain compared to the body, and elephants obviously have quite large bodies too.

But they are indeed intelligent, and have quite complex social interactions, even appearing to display complex emotions.

Octopuses

Octopuses

Invertebrates aren't typically known for their intelligence when compared to vertebrates, however, an octopus will generally be the smartest of those without a vertebral column. They are both great hunters and problem solvers.



Dogs

Dogs

This one should go without saying. Think of all those things your dog is capable of doing that most animals can't, and that's why the little guy places so highly on this list.

Whales

Whales

There are many different types of whale obviously, and some are smarter than others, however, whales don't often get the credit for their intelligence. Like many other animals on this list they are great problem solvers. They also have a very complex way of communicating.



Parrots

Parrots

Let's be honest, their ability to mimic sounds and speech is nothing but mimicry and doesn't necessarily make them intelligent. However, what does is their ability to solve problems and their great memory.

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins

We know these guys are smart and we'd be a little disappointed if they weren't up towards the pointy end of this list because we all seem to be so fond of them. Their brain to body ratio is definitely in their favor when compared to many other animals. Some say they can even recognize themselves in the mirror. Can your dog do that?



Pigs

Pigs

Pigs get a bad rap for their association with being dirty and gross. But the truth is, when it comes to the animal kingdom, pigs are way up there. In fact, they can pick up new skills so easily that many studies suggest that a fully grown pig can be as smart as a human toddler.

Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees

These guys were always going to top this list, weren't they?

Of course, they kind of look like us but they can also think like us too - to an extent.

They can use tools and have a huge ability to impact their immediate environment to suit their needs. They are widely considered to be the smartest non-human in the animal kingdom.