Smart Animal Facts
Smart Animal Facts

Top 10 Most Intelligent Animals

By Nathan James, Associate Writer
Published January 3, 2018
  • Chimpanzees and Gorillas.[1][2]
  • Ape Intelligence
    Chimpanzees and Gorillas have complex social systems and exhibit astonishing mental prowess, including the ability to learn sign language.

  • Dolphins.[2]
  • Dolphin intelligence
    The famous playfulness of dolphins is evidence of a robust intelligence that also shows up in their language and their emotional ties to one another.

  • Cephalopods.[2]
  • Cephalopod Intelligence
    Cephalopods, which include octopi, squid, and cuttlefish, seem to actively entertain themselves to avoid boredom. They are also highly curious and capable of utilizing objects as tools.

  • African gray parrots.[1]
  • Parrot Intelligence
    A certain gray parrot named Alex was able to recognize visual and tactile traits of objects, as well as keep track of numbers in his head.

  • Crab-eating macaque monkeys.[1]
  • Macaque intelligence
    The crab-eating macaque uses its tail to catch crabs. It also uses rocks to crack open shellfish.

  • Crows.[1]
  • Crow Intelligence
    The problem-solving ability of the crow is remarkable; some have been known to bend pieces of wire with their beaks to use as hooks for fetching food.

  • Squirrels.[2]
  • Squirrel Intelligence
    Squirrels can precisely recall the location of hundreds of hidden nuts using a type of three-dimensional mental map.

  • Pigs.[2]
  • Pig Intelligence
    Pigs are both clean and smart. Their habit of rolling around in the mud is an ingenious way to keep cool, since they have no sweat glands.

  • Elephants.[1]
  • Elephant Intelligence
    Elephants show signs of grief over the loss of loved ones, bury their dead, and have the ability to recognize their reflection in a mirror.

  • Dogs.[2]
  • Dog Intelligence
    Our canine pals are smarter than we might sometimes think. Dogs exhibit the ability to understand non-verbal cues and perhaps form basic concepts.


1de Waal, Frans. Are We Smart Enough to Know how Smart Animals Are?  New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2016.

2"The 10 Smartest Animals: How do Humans Compare to Other Intelligent Creatures?" Science. Accessed: November 12, 2017.

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