We’re talking about animals with skills we can only dream of.

These seven animals are way smarter than us — just another reason to pay some respect when we encounter them in the wild.

1- Wolves

The recent popularity of the wolf is a tremendous tribute to one of the most magnificent animals on earth. The wolf is one of Mother Nature's most intelligent creatures, and is one of the three most socially structured animals on earth. It has a very keen sense of all of its surroundings that exceeds the typical sense of sight, sound, and smell. It is a very shy animal. They will run from a threatening situation long before they will become defensive. There has never been a incident in the recorded history of North America where a healthy wolf in the wild has ever attacked a human being. Their regal appearance, their intelligence, and their social nature has caused many people to want to bring one into their home as a pet. Unfortunately, the very reasons that people want these animals are the same reasons why they do not make good pets. Wolves are wildlife, not pets!

The Wolf has developed the capacity to survive in the most inhospitable of climates. The wolves in the high arctic endure several winter months of perpetual darkness. Even in February when sun returns to the north, temperatures of -40°C and bitter winds are common. Other wolves are at home in the desert and the dampness of a humid Gulf Coast swamp.

Next to smell, the sense of hearing is the most acute of the wolf's senses. Wolves can hear as far as six miles away in the forest and ten miles in the open. Wolves can hear well up to a frequency of 25 khz. Some researchers believe that the actual maximum frequency detected by wolves is actually much higher, perhaps up to 80 khz (the upper auditory limits for humans is 20 khz), also according to some naturalist wolves' hearing is greater than that of the dog.

2- Homing Pigeons

While most humans need several types of maps and a compass to find their way home after a long journey, the homing pigeon can return from extremely long distances (more than 1,100 miles) without any guidance.

Well, as a matter of fact, they do have some help: According to research by the University of Frankfurt, these pigeons have iron-containing structures in their beaks, which help them sense the Earth’s magnetic field independent of their motion and posture, and thus identify their geographical position.

Research results released this year indicate this magnetic charm is present in other birds as well.

Photo: digitalART2

3- Ants
Despite their size, the world’s many varieties of ants have amazing skills. One of the most impressive is the mycocepurus smithii from the Amazon, a super feminist species that has developed the ability to reproduce via cloning — dispensing with both sex and males — to evolve into an all-female breed.

According to research from the University of Arizona, it’s not clear when the change happened, but by reproducing without sex, the ants avoid the energetic cost of producing males and double the number of reproductive females produced each generation.

Unlike us humans, ants have also learned super efficient ways to organize their traffic. And 2006 research by the Berkeley University of California has established that the trap-jaw ant (odontomachus bauri) can close its mandibles at an incredible speed: The strike lasts 0.13 milliseconds, 2,300 times faster than the blink of an eye. This allows them to jump enormous heights for their size. But don’t take our word for it, check out the video:

4. Elephants
They’re huge, and sometimes they seem tired and slow. But it’s no surprise that this mammal’s peculiar nose is really something: Research from the University of St. Andrews suggests that elephants can keep track of up to 30 absent members of their family by sniffing out their scent and building a mental map of where they are. How useful would this little feature be for moms with several kids?

Even better, according to another study by the same University, elephants can tell whether a human is friendly or a threat by their scent and color of clothing. So good luck trying to fool them.

5. Chimps

Much has been said about the intelligence of chimps, with some people claiming they’re geniuses and others saying they’re only as smart as a three year old kid. Of course, the actual facts fall in between.

But there is at least one area in which chimpanzees are smarter than humans — photographic memory. A study by the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University proves young chimpanzees have an extraordinary working memory capability for numerical recollection, better even than that of human adults tested with the same apparatus following the same procedure.

Presented with the same sequence of numbers, small chimps could recall them, outperforming humans. Not too shabby.

6. Crows

Contrary to the massive amount of animals and species facing extinction, crows are thriving, reproducing all over the world, with the small exceptions of the Arctic and the Southern tip of South America.

But, although they’re proven to be smart in many ways (as Joshua Klein explains in this TED talk), officially scientists say they’re not smarter than humans.

However, their amazing capacity for fast adaptation and ability to live in cities show they could be a lot more than they are today. And who knows, one day they might top us.

Photo: Ian Myers

7. Dolphins

Ok, again, not officially smarter than humans yet, but dolphins have recently been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures (after humans). A zoologist from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, according to The Times, has even gone far to say that their “neuroanatomy suggests psychological continuity between humans and dolphins,” and called for reconsideration of human-dolphin interactions. Another scientist from the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles has even called them ‘non-human persons.’

So yes, dolphins are smarter than chimps and with communication skills similar to humans’. Their brains are only second in mass to the human brain, making them cultural animals with distinct personalities with the ability to think about the future, among other faculties. How long will these clever animals put up with human abuse? We hope not too long.

Have more suggestions? Put them in the comments.

Responses to "7 Animals Smarter Than Humans"

  1. sherisse thompson says:

    wolves are number 1!!!! :D

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about horses?

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. Anonymous says:

    You missed one important one: PIGS!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the others: pigs.

  6. As humans we can learn much from the animal kingdom.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Really informative and interesting.

  8. Thank you jbone7 :)

  9. Unknown says:

    Dogs! They can detect cancer, tell when a seizure is about to start, find people who are lost, be our eyes and ears, help us deal with conditions such as PTSD.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Given human behaviour, all life forms except bacteria are smarter than humans. Bacteria are on a par with humans. They reproduce until they fill their Petri dishes and exhaust its nutrients, and then they die in their own excrements.


  11. Anonymous says:

    i wouldn't say every animal is smarter than a human..
    but the problem with us is that we do everything to "forget" the fact that we are mammals in the first place
    in our everyday makeup, playing with our smartphones, and our "perfect social" behavior" we don't even use our senses anymore....

  12. Anonymous says:

    What about coyotes? Mine is really clever and I have to keep quite an eye out not to get fooled. She is also a great help when she wants to be and a really quick study. And her senses far out strip mine in all ways. The Native Americans had a saying, " A feather fell from the sky. The eagle saw it, the deer heard it and the bear smelled it. The coyote did all three."

  13. lolapower says:

    Thanks for this wonderful site!! I truly enjoy it!! Lolamarina

  14. Unknown says:

    Sasquatch is smarter than people since most don't even believe in them. They avoid people for the plagues they bring both as diseases and as destruction.

  15. Anonymous says:

    horses for detecting emotions and fears etc...

  16. lolapower says:

    Coyotes are pretty amazing too!

  17. lolapower says:

    Putting this site on my FB to see if it gets more traffic

  18. Anonymous says:

    All animals smarter than humans

  19. Anonymous says:

    love my wolf hybrid

  20. teresa says:

    Thanks for the information very informative.
    PS I love your site.
    Keep up the great work.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Not so sure bout all that. So a trout is smarter than humans because it can breath under water, no. Animals do what they are born to do. That doesn't make them smarter than humans

  22. Anonymous says:

    Orcas and other whales.

  23. Animals are smarter than humans in some ways, but not overall. Although I liked the post, I don't think animal advocates should set animals against humans, as the 'competitive' hunter type will only see it as an excuse to kill them, while also inflating their ego even more!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting. What about bears?

  25. Unknown says:

  26. All Animals are smarter than humans....even the so called "Dumb Animals" simply because they
    do not try to wipe out all the other species like we "Smart Humans" do

  27. Anonymous says:

    I like your thinking they do not try to take over the world .

  28. Anonymous says:

    After all Animals were here first! then humans, Humm, for a reason don't you think? Animals are amazing, absolutely smarter then we..

  29. Anonymous says:

    I found this very interesting and informative! Thanks for sharing.I love this site!!! ~Gail~

  30. Anonymous says:

    Wolves can do all those things and more,but humans seem to want to annihilate their species. They don't choose to do those things for us because they are too busy just surving and avoiding us,

  31. Unknown says:

    It is only us who think about how clever they are they already know and thats is why, Animals would never experimet or put us i jail or any other stupid things we are doing to them they already know that it is stupid ,The Animals are were they need to be the Humans are not :) ♥

  32. Anonymous says:

    I love the wild life animals. Why can't people leave them alone. Wolves are a beautiful animal. The elephants in the zoo , always seem so sad. I am grateful to see these animals , but it is still sad they have to live in a pen. As bad as people are getting, this seems to be the only safe place they can be. The wild horses, beautiful, but for how long?

  33. I love and believe these animals are almost as smart as humans and some are smarter than we are.

  34. Lorie says:

    Loved this story, thanks for sharing

  35. Anonymous says:

    Missed orcas:-)

  36. Von says:

    Geese are very smart too and have amazing homing instincts, survival and parenting skills.

  37. Anonymous says:

    According to people in Alaska wolves are cold blooded killers. They would gladly kill a wolf cuz it's fur is worth 450 dollars. They eve claim to respect the wolf after killing it. How is killing it respecting it.

  38. Anonymous says:

    All animals have intelligence ... a python will sit in a tree along an animal path and jump falling on the passer to catch as food ... ants make incredible homes with halls and rooms ... bird build nests of all forms ... termites build homes with air conditioning and heating by directional buildings facing east to west ... The list goes on and on ... : ) x

  39. Anonymous says:

    yes animals are smarter then us for all the reasons said we try to destroying one another and the world the animals try to coexist they will do what it takes to servive even if it means making friends with those that might eat or try to kill them! humans start wars or kill one another for a qurter of the streat or sometimes just for fun that is what gangs do or cause u look at them wrong or there different then u or just cause there bullys I can go on and on animals don't care who u love or look like or if u have disabilitys all they care about is are u a good person or not can they trust u or not! and they can tell all that! we can't that is why we get hurt or worse! we need to stop killing thease animals and start learning from them as they are going exstict if we don't learn from them so will we!!! what we need is to learn is to stop killing them and to coexsist with them and we all live happy in one world the way it should be! this is our one world we all come from it we all have to share it we must all learn to get along and not kill one another or animals and live as we are serpost to be as one!!!!!!!

  40. Unknown says:

    good comparisons in small ways.

  41. Anonymous says:

    May the dolphins rule! We're so intelligent and look what we've done to the planet....

  42. Anonymous says:

    I'd put Ravens up there, ahead of Crows.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Pigs and sheeps

  44. Katherine Gipple says:

    Isn't that the truth about the wolves avoiding us to survive. Good point!!!!!

  45. Unknown says:

    Killer whales, sperm whales also very intelligent. Honey Badgers are pretty amazing too.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Animals vs Humans = In my opinion, Animals don't consciously destroy the earth, they re-generate it. Animals also use their sixth sense, most of us humans have forgotten how to use most of our senses.
    All beings (Animals, Humans, Plants/Trees) have a purpose on this earth and the survival of the planet depends upon the intelligence of all beings.
    We must protect and help all beings (Animals, Humans and Plants/Trees - Forests), by helping to protect all beings, we help to protect our environment, which will protect our planet.

  47. Wolf says:

    Lov the pig coment it that the ones in special cars or washington?

  48. Anonymous says:

    I agree with those people on here that think animals are smarter than people. Animals are definitely smarter than those specific people!

  49. Anonymous says:

    Were you around for the beginning of life? How do you know animals came first besides what a human said when animals are "smarter" yet no animal says they came first? Many animals truely are smarter but with simpler ways of communication and more prone to emotion that are hardly seen by human eyes. One reason they are smarter is because they balance with their environment while we change it to suit ourselves. There are many other ways as well but let us not go into that.

  50. Wolf says:

    dam I missed that corn pletely who came first, one said it was cool that wolf's were listed first. but don't see where people were talked abt at all.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Given that brainless bacteria are not animals, I would say that all animals are smarter than humans. Only bacteria and humans breed until they exhaust the nutrients/resources of the Petri dish or Planet. But then the bacteria can sporulate and hunker down in wait of better days. You try that, son of Adam!

  52. Anonymous says:

    What about the OWL? :/

  53. Anonymous says:

    It doesn't really mean they are smarter. The Creator gave them all different gifts than ours, but we are the ones he put in control over them all. And I must say, that we have done a pathetic job.

  54. Anonymous says:


  55. Unknown says:

    all dogs

  56. Golji says:

    What's abut dogs, cats, pigs, goats?

  57. Anonymous says:

    What's all this stuff about one species being smarter than another species? Everyone is smart in their own way. We may be able to figure things out faster than some animals, but those same animals might be able to work together as a team better than we do. We don't really know how smart animals are. They don't have IQ tests. I think we should treat animals like humans. We should stop hunting them and tearing down their homes. We should treat animals the way we all want to be treated.

  58. Unknown says:

    Animal's are so amazing plain and simple.. smarter more caring and more compassionate than 99% of human beings..humans have alot to learn from animals

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