We love them. We need them. They are our friends. Animals…. These beautiful creatures share living on the planet Earth together with us. Sometimes we are afraid of them, sometimes we admire them, but one thing is for sure – they are the closest beings to us so far.
Intelligence is one important thing that we have in common, and that’s why many debates have started in order to prove morality of the way we treat them. Many of them are very intelligent, but here we have listed ten of them:
These beautiful, domestic animals are really good company and we enjoy to pet them. But, besides that, they are very skilled hunters, with ability to learn, solve problems and adapt to any environment. Researchers have found that cat’s intelligence include the ability to acquire new behavior with applying previously learned knowledge to new situations. This pretty independent animal does not like boredom, so it is sometimes difficult to train it.
One recent research has shown that crows exhibit strong behavioral signs of analogical reasoning. This ability is developed in humans between the ages three and four. Furthermore, these birds are famous for crafting and using tools, like bending wires into hooks in order to collect inaccessible food. After the critical test was given crows to solve, in which they needed to recognize similar and different shapes, they have solved test with no mistake and without being trained to.
Portia, type of jumping spider, is famous its intelligent hunting behavior. It is capable of learning and problem solving. They like to prey web-building spiders, which are between 10% and 200% of their own size. They mimic the struggle of a trapped insect until the victim-spider decides to investigate. They make invasions of web to coincide with light breezes which can blur the vibrations that their approach causes in the web. And if the victim shows as willingly to fight, Portia steps back.
These beautiful animals are fast learners and are easily trained. They remember things associatively, so after doing something good you need to reward them. Horses are able to solve increasingly challenging problems, to be fast at doing a task, and are able to retain learned knowledge. They learn from habituation, desensitization, Pavlovian and operant conditioning.
This intelligent animal can think about thinking, like humans, which enables them to make decisions based on their previous knowledge. Rats are self-aware, ticklish and they dream, just like us. As pets, they are extremely social and make strong bonds with their owners. Rat can remember its name and comes when being called. Also, if you want a rat as a pet, it will be very playful and interactive.
Dolphins are unusually very communicative. Besides whistling and clicking, they emit many different sounds called burst pulses to discipline and protect their young. Dolphins are large-brained, highly social and are impressively talented for solving problems and capable to plan for the future. Also, they are among the most cosmopolitan animals on the planet.
Elephant brains are similar to humans’ in general connectivity and areas. They are able for grief, learning, mimicry, playing and altruism. Elephants can use tools, communicate, and also, have compassion, are cooperative, self-aware and have memories.
They have ritual around death, and some researchers have discovered that when one of them dies, they gently touch its body in order to lift it and then rumble loudly. They weep and scream and then throw leaves and dirt over the body and spend next two days quietly standing near the dead one.
One case of the elephant named Raju shows the same behavior as human. He was released after being captivated for 50 years and in the first moments of freedom he started crying. Here we must question consequences and morality of our acts toward animals.
This friendly and lovable animal is considered to be man’s best friend. They are easily trained and are fast in learning new skills. Some breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies and Poodles can notice the smallest changes in environment.
They may feel complex emotions, like jealousy and anticipation and can discriminate the emotional expressions of human faces. Dogs can read and react appropriately to human body language such as gesturing and pointing, and understand human voice commands.
Pigs are very smart and very clean animals. They have excellent long-term memories, can solve mazes easily and love to play. They live in complex social communities and remember about individuals, learning from one another. They are cooperative and can use mirror to find some hidden food. Also, these animals are empathic. Sometimes, they are considered to be more social than dogs and cats.
With 99% DNA similarity with humans, they are our closest living relatives. They live in social communities and are adaptable to different environment. Chimps are able to learn sign language, and can walk upright on two legs. They can make and use tools and one study has shown that they have better memories and follow better choice pattern than humans. Also, maybe surprisingly, but they have better short-term memory than we do. For example, one study has shown that a chimpanzee was able to recall the exact sequence of a random series of numbers 1 through 9 flashed on a screen.
So, what do you think about these smart animals?
How their intelligence impact on us?
Written by Marko T.