7 Super Smart Animals

The animals that share the planet with us, all of which are conscious and sentient and capable of feeling pain, should not be treated differently depending on how “intelligent” they are. As Mark Berkoff writes in an article for Live Science:

I always emphasize that intelligence is a vague concept, it cannot be used to evaluate suffering. Cross-species comparisons are pretty pointless…because some people argue that supposedly smarter animals suffer more than supposedly dumber ones – so it’s OK to use the dumber species in any aggressive and inhumane way. Such claims have no sound scientific basis.

However, understanding the cognitive abilities of other creatures is an important step in learning to appreciate them. Below is a list of seven ultra-intelligent species – some may surprise you!

1. Elephants

Wild elephants have been observed to mourn dead friends and relatives and even bury them in ceremonies similar to our funerals. Wildlife filmmaker James Honeyborn says that while “it is dangerous … to project human feelings onto animals, to transfer human traits onto them and humanize them, it is also dangerous to ignore the wealth of scientific evidence gathered from decades of observation of wildlife. We may never know exactly what goes on inside an elephant’s head, but it would be presumptuous to believe that we are the only species capable of feeling loss and grief.”

2. Dolphins

Dolphins have long been known to have one of the most advanced communication systems among animals. The researchers found that, in addition to being capable of mathematics, the pattern of sounds that dolphins use to communicate with each other closely resembles human speech and can be considered a “language.” Their nonverbal communication includes jaw snapping, bubble blowing, and fin stroking. They even call each other by their first names. I wonder what they call the people behind the Taiji dolphin slaughter?

3 Pigs

Pigs are also known for their intelligence. A famous computer experiment in the 1990s showed that pigs could move a cursor, play video games, and recognize drawings they made. Professor Donald Broom of the Veterinary Institute of the University of Cambridge says: “Pigs have quite developed cognitive abilities. Much more than dogs and three-year-olds.” It is a pity that most people treat these animals only as food.

4. Chimpanzee

Chimpanzees can make and use tools and demonstrate advanced problem-solving skills. They can communicate with people using sign language and even remember the name of a person they haven’t seen in years. In a 2013 science experiment, a group of chimpanzees outperformed even humans on a test of short-term memory. And it makes it all the more gratifying to hear that the use of chimpanzees in laboratories is gradually becoming more and more disapproved.

5. Pigeons

Refuting the common expression “bird brains”, pigeons demonstrate the ability to count and can even memorize mathematical rules. Professor Shigeru Watanabe of Keio University in Japan conducted a study in 2008 to see if pigeons can distinguish between live video of themselves and pre-filmed video. He says: “The pigeon can distinguish the current image of itself from the one recorded a few seconds earlier, which means that pigeons have the ability to self-knowledge.” He claims that their mental abilities correspond to those of a three-year-old child.

6. Horses

Dr. Evelyn Hanggi, president and co-founder of the Equine Research Foundation, has long championed horse intelligence and has done extensive research to support her claims of memory and recognition in horses. She says: “If the cognitive abilities of horses are underestimated or, conversely, overestimated, then the attitude towards them must also be wrong. The well-being of horses depends not only on physical comfort, but also on mental comfort. Keeping a thinking animal in a dark, dusty stable with little or no social interaction and no incentive to think is just as harmful as malnutrition or cruel training methods.  

7. Cats

All cat lovers know that a cat will stop at nothing to achieve its goal. They open doors without permission, terrorize their dog neighbors, and constantly display the skills of underworld geniuses. This has now been backed up by scientific studies that have proven that cats have amazing navigational skills and can sense natural disasters long before they happen.



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