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The 10 most intelligent animals that exist

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Intelligence is a very difficult term to define. In simple terms, it can be described as the ability to solve problemsand adapt to life.

No one would doubt that, within the animal kingdom, the human being It has stood out over the other species for a greater development of its cognitive and social capacities. This fact causes that sometimes it is thought that the rest of animals are inferior in intelligence, a belief that is erroneous.

In the diversity of the animal kingdom there are species whose cognitive capacities are superior to those of others. In this article we analyze the most intelligent animal species that exist.

  • Related article: "Animal intelligence: the theories of Thorndike and Köhler"

Especially intelligent animals

The psychic capacity in animals is also a difficult value to measure, so making a list of the most intelligent animals in the world is somewhat complicated.

You can make use of a multitude of criteria, such as the ability to learning in captivity, understanding and using language

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or the ability to plan an action or abstract concepts. These ideas go far beyond the simple problem-solving skills mentioned at the beginning of the text.

Therefore, more than the typical "top ten", in this list I present a series of species, trying to cover different classes of animals whose cognitive abilities are superior to what many might think, as shown by the research. Go for it.

  • Related article: "Comparative psychology: the animal part of psychology"

10. The ant

It is the insect with the largest brain mass that exists. The ant is an intelligent, methodical and strategic invertebrate. Its social organization is very complex, with hierarchies and diversification of work; for example, they have scouts for reconnaissance of the terrain.

Ants are capable of growing mushrooms or raising other invertebrates as food, in addition to presenting a coordinated battle to defend their territory.

9. The dog

"Man's best friend" is a species that has evolved in favor of human interests, but that does not mean that they are intelligent beings. In addition to being faithful friends, dogs are able to understand human languageor, feel empathy towards other beings and apply logic to achieve your goals.

8. The gray parrot

The gray parrot is a bird that is not only capable of imitating the sounds of human language, but also of applying it in context, that is, of understanding its meaning.

Among the case studies highlights the parrot Axel, who lived thirty years (from 1977 to 2007), and was trained by comparative psychologist Irene Pepperberg. As she herself remarked, she was able to communicate with the animal.

7. The rat

Despite being an animal that for many is unpleasant, for scientists it is very similar to humans, and proof of this is its great use in experiments. These rodents are highly sociable and work together for the good of the group.

Rats are able to plan and apply logic for troubleshooting. Some studies reveal that they are also sensitive animals, showing stress or remorse.

6. The Raven

The raven is considered by many scientists to be the most intelligent bird. They are social animals that form herds.

In New Caledonia crows were found they use tools like knives to chop and throw nuts on the road while waiting for a car to pass over and break them. This means that they are able to find ways to solve problems.

5. The octopus

The octopus is the most intelligent invertebrate that exists. They are lonely beings, but they are capable of recognize their surroundings and memorize for the long term what they have been discovering. Their nervous system is complex, and the funny thing is that only a third of their neurons They are located in the brain: the rest are distributed by the tentacles.

Their capacities for mimicry and camouflage are not lost either, and they are known for being great escapists.

4. Elephant

The elephant is the land animal with the largest brain and has advanced cognitive abilities. For example, they are altruistic, that is, they sacrifice themselves for the good of the herd, they self-medicate when they are sick (feeding on different plants depending on the disease) or carry out funeral rituals (march towards a "graveyard").

Its social organization is one of the most complex in the animal kingdom, with very intimate social relationships and family ties that are only broken with death. In captivity, they are animals that learn fast, have great memories and have even been creative - remember the elephant who painted pictures.

3. The pig

Surely many think that the pig is a little neat and intelligent animal. Well, the truth is that it is probably the cleanest domestic animal: pigs refuse to defecate in nearby areas where they live or eat.

Pigs have a high level of intelligence. There are many studies on the cognitive abilities of the pig, which show that they have a good long term memoryThey learn quickly, have complex social interactions, and show empathy. Even in some texts it is hinted that the pig could have a higher level of intelligence than the chimpanzee.

2. The bottlenose dolphin

His fame precedes him; The bottlenose dolphin is popularly known as an intelligent cetacean. Their brain is much larger than human, they dominate a complex language of sounds and they present very intimate social relationships, especially between mother and children.

Many studies support their cognitive abilities; for example, they are highly curious and are able to recognize themselves when looking in a mirror, that is, they are aware of themselves.

1. The great apes

Great apes are the closest siblings to humans. This group is made up of gorillas, orangutans, bonobos and chimpanzees. It is likely that due to this proximity there is a great interest in the study of their characteristics, including their cognitive abilities.

The complex social interactions that these animals carry out, their use of tools to solve problems or the fact that transmit their culture from generation to generation. In captivity it has been shown that they are able to communicate with humans through signs or reveal their creative abilities.

  • Related article: "Michael Tomasello Theory: What Makes Us Human?"
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