Defining intelligence is not easy. Is it an ability for abstract thought? Communication? Reasoning? Problem solving? It’s a troubling concept for humans because we know we have it but we’re not so sure what, exactly it is.

And traditionally, humans have considered their intelligence to be superior to that of the rest of earth’s inhabitants. Animals, it has long been thought, have a degree of intelligence but certainly nothing that could compare to humanity’s proclivity for innovation and emotional understanding.

Recently, however, a series of observations have challenged this idea. Indeed, we humans are finally realizing that several animals—from our cousins the apes down to fish and even some invertebrates—experience deep emotion, develop culture, and utilize tools for problem solving; all things that were once the cornerstones of the human intelligence pedestal.

1- Crows

It’s relatively easy to accept that other mammals exhibit high-level intelligence—after all, they tend to have big brains just like humans. Crows, however, defy the pejorative title of “bird brain.” In fact, these clever birds have been observed crafting and using specific and specialized tools to gather food.

2- Fish

Fish, too, it seems share the ability to use tools to solve specific problems. Researchers have captured photos and videos of at least two reef fish species using rocks to crack open stubborn clam shells.

3- Octopuses

Tool use, it turns out, is not even limited to animals that have a spine. Scientists recently observed an octopus using a coconut shell as a mobile shelter. By carrying it along, the octopus could stop anywhere and crawl in, finding protection from potential predators while on the go.

Photo Charlene

4- Apes

Any discussion of animal intelligence must begin with apes. There has been extensive and well-documented research that has found evidence of some key elements of high intelligence in ape species including self awareness, emotional understanding, problem solving and reasoning, culture, and language.

Photo-Credit: Saf. partners

5- Dolphins

Ever since Flipper hit theaters and TV screens in the 1960s, dolphins have been regarded as one of the most intelligent species on the planet. It was not until recently, however, that the true extent of this intelligence was acknowledged. Dolphins have exhibited “self-recognition, an understanding of symbol-based language, and distinct personalities.” In fact, some scientists have called “non-human person” status for dolphins.

6-  Elephants

Another animal that has, upon closer examination, shown signs of higher intelligence is the elephant. As herd animals, elephants are used to living in groups. Recent research, however, revealed that elephants a capable of working together to solve problems. Evidence of this sort of collaborative ingenuity was surprising.


Responses to "6 Species Proving Humans Aren’t the Only Intelligent Ones on the Planet"

  1. Anonymous says:

    by the way, there is no such thing as octopuses. The plural of octopuses is octopi.

  2. Anonymous says:

    what beautiful pictures !don't forget wolves lol !Oh and are there not so many more .I was thinking of collies and other dog breeds . and then plants , really plants test our question of the knowldge of know I think ☺ insects the butterfly who travels so far .

  3. Anonymous says:

    ps. I really like the momma with babe ☺
    and as for the correct spelling true writers do not give a hoot about proper grammar, spelling,etc.~ however picky fussy editors do ;-)

  4. alda says:

    Octopuses? Octopi? Octopodes? According to this video by Merriam Webster editor Kory Stamper, all three are technically correct. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFyY2mK8pxk&feature=youtu.be

    So don't hurry to comment before doing some researches =)

  5. Anonymous says:

    .. is a fascinating and energetic facebook thread- good love on that .. I like how the domestic comment illustrates how dog wags n waits while the wolf finds solution ( only thing is -I haven't seen it! ) .. will find me looking how to stick to instincts instead of consuming .

  6. Anonymous says:

    Human somehow forgets what is consumed .

  7. Sharon says:

    I always felt this before science proved it however I think wolves, dogs and horses should be added to your list of intellectuals here!! :)) As always love your posts, thank you!!

  8. Ginette says:

    I agree with Sharon : Horses and canines (wolves and dogs) should be added to the list of intelligent species. (All dogs are in fact descendants of domesticated wolves, coyotes, etc. which have evolved over time, through purposeful breeding to reproduce specific physical caracteristics or traits, into the many breeds of dogs that exist today.)

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