Pigs use mirrors, crows know physics, and bees hold democratic dance-offs.
1. Crows know physics
Not only can crows recognise faces to differentiate between predatory and benign species, they also understand basic physics, have been known to change entire migration patterns to avoid farms where crows have been killed in the past, and may even memorize city garbage routes so they can snag the inevitable food droppings on trash day.
Talk about some of the smartest animals! Cool, calculating, and known to harbor a grudge, crows shouldn’t be compared to gangsters, per se, but we do feel obligated to remind you that a group of them is called a murder.
2. Pigs use mirrors
Pigs may as well be man’s best friend, according to a 2015 paper from the International Journal of Comparative Psychology.
Like dogs, pigs have been shown to understand emotions, demonstrate empathy, solve mazes, learn simple symbolic languages and, most adorably, make best friends.
As some of the smartest animals in the world, the youngest pigs even put our youngest humans to shame.
In an experiment where wee British piglets had to use mirrors to divine the path to a hidden bowl of food, piggies as young as six weeks old learned the concept of reflection within a few hours—a milestone that takes baby humans several months to grasp.
3. Octopi are master escape artists
True prison-breakers of the sea, these tentacled creatures have proven time and again their talents for popping lids off screw-top jars, compressing their bulky bodies through slit-small holes, and climbing impossibly out of aquarium tanks to their freedom.
Otto, a German aquarium octopus, was even known to throw rocks at the glass and spray water at overhead lamps to short-circuit the annoyingly bright lights (on more than one occasion).
Add to their rap sheet the recent innovation of assembling shelters from coconut shells, and there’s no denying cephalopods will one day be our overlords. But would you call their plural “octopuses” or “octopi”?