5 Smartest Animals On Earth Besides Humans
We all know that humans are the smartest animals on Earth, but just how smart are our animal companions?
Smartest Animal #1: Apes
Apes, such as chimps and bonobos, are our closest relatives. In fact, we share 99% of the same DNA!
Like humans, they are highly social creatures. They can be taught sign language to communicate between each other and with humans.
Chimps & bonobos in the wild have been observed creating tools and weapons for hunting and other purposes. They are highly adaptable. Even though they’re not as smart as us, they might just be the second smartest animal on Earth.
Smartest Animal #2: Dolphins
Some scientists believe that dolphins are actually smarter than apes. Their brains have evolved quite similarly to humans. Dolphins are certainly smarter than common pets such as dogs & cats, and wildlife animals like raccoons.
Dolphins are mammals, just like humans, which means that they need air to survive. This is weird considering they’re water creatures! They actually must hold their breath while underwater, and go to the surface to get air regularly.
Dolphins are social like humans too. They take care of their old, form relationships, go hunting together, and even play together.
They can help fisherman go hunting and enjoy engaging with humans. Dolphins also have a complex language like humans, and even give each other names!
Smartest Animal #3: Elephants
Most people would not expect elephants to make the list, but they do! Elephants are actually social, intelligent, and self-aware.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize oneself in the mirror, and there are but a few creatures besides humans that can (the above).
Elephants will communicate with each other by stomping their feet or trunks in the ground. They can sense seismic activity in the ground, and are the only large animal to communicate this way.
Smartest Animal #4: Rats
Rats have the ability to have meta-cognition. Meta-cognition is the ability to think about one’s own thoughts. Some animals can “think,” but they’re not able to think thoughts about their thoughts. Rats can!
Rats are great at problem solving. They have dreams, and are quite social as well.
Pet rats can be purchased and they form very close bonds with their owners. They can be called by name, and love playing games.
Smartest Animal #5: Dogs
Everyone was expecting dogs or cats to make this list, and here they are! Whether or not dogs are actually intelligent is still a raging debate however.
Some scientists say that dogs are simply responding to commands through conditioning, whereas others think that dogs have an actual understanding of what’s being done.
One way or another, dogs make great friends for humans. Dogs evolved for thousands of years alongside humans (previously wolves). They have an innate desire to please their master, making them useful too.
Some dogs can sense their owner’s emotions. For example, if the owner is crying, the dog might come to comfort them. Owners can often sense the same for their dog!
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