Q:

What are the top ten smartest animals?

A:

Quick Answer

Based on studies that examine factors such as communication, learning and memory, scientists have determined that several animals possess high intelligence. Humans are the most intelligent animals, and other animals that rank high on the list are chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. Researchers believe cephalopods, crows, squirrels, dogs, cats and pigs are also intelligent.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Intelligent animals display many behaviors that are similar to human behaviors. Chimpanzees are capable of using tools. Elephants can recognize themselves in the mirror, a skill that only great apes, dolphins and humans exhibit. Animals may also exhibit social behaviors that are normally seen only in humans. Some scientists believe a squirrel can guess another animal's intentions, such as a plan to steal its food.

When researchers classify an animal's intelligence, they sometimes look at sheer brain size. Additionally, brain structure can get an animal on the list of smart animals. A cephalopod brain has regions that are similar to human brains. These include centers for processing tactile and visual information as well as folded lobes. The octopus and squid are cephalopods.

Much of what is known about animals' intelligence has been obtained with the help of a tool commonly used by humans -- a computer. Scientists have placed animals in front of a monitor and watched them perform a variety of activities from distinguishing between familiar and novel objects to recognizing their own species.

Learn more about Zoology
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the dumbest animal?

    A:

    It is difficult to quantify what the dumbest animal in the world is, simply because there is no universal barometer by which to measure intelligence. However, some animals widely agreed to be dumb include the panda, cane toad, turkey and kakapo.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What animal never sleeps?

    A:

    Although not every species in existence has been specifically studied for sleep patterns, scientists generally agree that all organisms need to sleep in some fashion. Sleep patterns differ from species to species, though, making a definitive answer next to impossible.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some rhinoceros viper facts?

    A:

    Rhinoceros vipers, which are known to scientists as Bitis nasicornis, are sedentary pit vipers that hail from the forests of central Africa. These snakes are primarily associated with forest pools and low-lying areas that are subject to frequent floods. Rhinoceros vipers are “true vipers” that lack the facial pits common to the pit vipers of North America and Asia.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the most recent animal to become extinct?

    A:

    According to The Guardian, the UN estimates that between 150-200 species of plants and animals become extinct each day, many without ever being officially discovered and classified by scientists. Mother Nature Network identifies the Baaji dolphin as one of the last "high-profile" extinctions that researchers tracked and confirmed.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore