We humans take a lot of pride in our brains and our supposed ‘dominance’ over the other creatures on Earth. But the animal kingdom is full of brainy creatures who would surely blow even the smartest humans away with their intelligence and skills if we gave them the chance. Case in point: think dancing, cheating and sleight-of-hand are human inventions, exclusive to Homo sapiens? Think again. Get ready to marvel at some of the smartest animals on the planet – some of which will surprise you!
Dogs are as smart as toddlers
There’s a reason dogs are man’s best friend. Not only are they adorable, they’re also very smart. They have emotions, they learn tricks, they recognise their owners, they can sense others’ feelings – and that’s not even all of the clever things dogs can do. According to Live Science, they’re as smart as a two-year-old child. “The finding is based on a language development test, revealing average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a two-year-old child), including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20% in intelligence can learn 250 words,” says the Live Science article. “While dogs ranked with two year olds in language, they would trump a three- or four-year-old in basic arithmetic, [Stanley Coren, a canine expert and professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia] found. In terms of social smarts, our drooling furballs fare even better.”
OK, we know dogs are smart, so make sure you know how to train your puppy.
African Greys are as smart as a three-year-old
Besides being able to mimic humans, parrots can solve puzzles based on logical reasoning. According to Live Science, these parrots are as smart as a three-year-old child. “Parrots can draw conclusions about where to find a food reward not only from clues as to its location, but also from the absence of clues – an ability previously only seen in humans and other apes. “It suggests that Grey parrots have some understanding of causality and that they can use this to reason about the world,” study scientist Christian Schloegl, a researcher at the University of Vienna, told Live Science.”