Animal Genius: 7 Smartest Animals


Regardless of the ability to speak, some of the smartest animals have ways to show us their intelligence. Some of their impressive senses or skills are so remarkable, and we are going to explore those abilities today. You will find 7 animal geniuses that can do extraordinary that you might not know about. So let’s see which one among the 10 impresses you the most.


Primates share the closest DNA with humans, and chimpanzees are one of the best examples of that. With training, chimps are able to learn how to solve problems, sign languages, and more. Because they are highly intelligent, chimpanzees can also manipulate their surrounding problems to help themselves and members of their community. At the same time, these primates also make use of tools for daily tasks such as opening fruits and nuts. Not to mention that they learn to use certain plants as medicine for various conditions and sicknesses, chimpanzees are one of a kind.

They are curious animals so they observe and imitate from time to time. Plus with their long-term memories, chimpanzees can learn and adapt just like a human does. Along with that, chimpanzees were shown to express sympathy and mourn the deaths of their friends. As for their communication, the chimps use calls, facial expressions, gestures, and other specific sounds to communicate with each other. There are also right-handed and left-handed chimpanzees, and this is proof that they are capable of so many things.


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For years, dolphins have shown that their intelligence is quite remarkable among some of the smartest animals out there. The smartest dolphins would be the bottlenose dolphins, with a brain that is 25% heavier than the average adult human. This is why dolphins are communicative, helpful, and sociable with both humans and their peers. As one of the several animals who passed a mirror test (self-recognition), dolphins are indeed animal geniuses.

Another interesting thing about them is that dolphins are quick learners. Just like chimpanzees, they watch and observe and then imitate. One dolphin released a stream of bubbles from his blowhole after he saw bubbles released from a scuba diver’s gear. Another man released a puff of smoke from his cigarette when a dolphin calf was watching him. The dolphin then swam to her mother, returned then released a mouthful of milk that looked similar to cigarette smoke.

Some said that dolphins are the second smartest animals due to the fact that they possess mimicry and show emotions. After years of research, scientists also confirmed that dolphins are also the second sneakiest animals in the world. In the research tank, dolphins are trained to pick up litter in exchange for treats. One dolphin named Kelly hid scraps of litter under a rock in the tank. She would return the litter she hid in exchange for more fish reward. Sneaky yet adorable, and that proves that dolphins are also very adaptable and flexible.


As the master of escape, octopuses are without a doubt among the smartest animals in the world. Their extraordinary minds and intelligence allow them to solve problems and save their lives in various circumstances. You can put them in a screw-top jar or a maze in aquarium tanks, and the octopuses can escape them all. With the ability to climb and compress their body through super small holes, aquariums have to be smarter to keep one.

Besides the ability to escape, their problem-solving and survival skills are also impressive. An octopus in a German aquarium was known to throw rocks at the glass and spray water at overhead lamps. The light was annoyingly bright, so he had to do things to short-circuit the lights and that happened several times. Wild octopuses stack rocks to protect the entrance of their dens while some others hide inside coconut shells. With 8 tentacles and a large brain, octopuses can outsmart us very easily.


If you live in Southeast Asia, orangutans are the primates that you often see in animal performances at zoos. These intelligent animals share up to 97% of genetic materials with humans. In the wild, orangutans show familiar actions to humans such as building simple shelters, swatting insects, and using tools to scratch themselves. These smart apes also have impressive creative-thinking skills and problem-solving skills as part of their adaptation.

In captivity, orangutans learn sign languages effectively and quickly just like chimpanzees and gorillas do. At the same time, they are also able to answer questions, identify objects, and more. The one thing that proves that orangutans are smarter than chimps is “mental flexibility”. Compared to chimpanzees, orangutans make more logical and thoughtful choices in their daily life. Some can even cook and eat with a fork and spoon which is absolutely remarkable.

Because their conditions are so similar to humans, they are also prone to human diseases like hepatitis B and tuberculosis. When they get older, orangutans also suffer from cardiovascular diseases just like some older humans. The sad thing is that all 3 species of orangutan are now critically endangered due to illegal hunting and habitat loss.


When it comes to smart birds, parrots always pop into many people’s minds. It is true that parrots are one of the smartest animals in the world, and many of their species have proved so. The ability to repeat what humans say is not the only thing that makes parrots smart animals. These colorful birds can also solve complex problems if they receive food as a reward. Parrots have bigger brains than other birds, hence more communication skills and intelligence.

African gray parrots are known to be one of the smartest parrots and the smartest bird species in the world. These parrots can adapt to various things around them such as color identification, shape recognition, and more. Alex (Avian Language Experiment) was the parrot of this species whose vocabulary was more than 100 words. He could describe an object by saying its color, material, or shape correctly.

Alex did not only have the ability to learn but also understand what he said. This parrot was also the first and only non-human animal to ask a question. He looked at a mirror and asked “what color”, and he learned the color grey after being told 6 times. Apart from the African gray parrots, there are some other intelligent parrots out there. Those are Amazon parrots, budgies, cockatoos, Eclectus parrots, Indian ringneck parrots, macaws, monk parakeets, and more.


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That band-like black fur on their eyes come with information, and the ability to do sneaky things. Not all animals can be smart in a good way, there is always that one cunning member; and that is the raccoon. With an IQ greater than a cat and second to a monkey on a mammal scale, raccoons are quite clever. First of all, raccoons can pick locks. Even the complex ones in different positions, raccoons can pick them all.

This mischievous animal has an impeccable memory that allows them to recall solutions. You can give them puzzles, and they will be able to solve those to get food as a reward. Raccoons can crack a series of locks to get treats inside the box. Remember the story of a crow dropping stones into a pitcher to get water to drink? Raccoons also passed that test after they were shown what to do, and they even toppled the whole thing over for faster results.

Thanks to their hands with unusual paws, they can use those hands just like humans do. Apart from picking locks, raccoons can also open doors, drawers, tricky lids, and many more. The special thing is that their front paws are dexterous, and they contain more sensory receptors just like human hands. Simply put, raccoons can differentiate objects without the need to see them which is beneficial for their hunting at night.


Larger and smarter than crows, ravens belong up there with some of the smartest animals such as chimpanzees and dolphins. Just like raccoons, the intelligence that ravens have come with cunning behavior. Since some ravens hang out in a pair or groups, they will take turns to lure parent birds to eat their eggs. At the same time, they are very stingy when it comes to their own food. Ravens would hide their food in various places, and they would switch locations if they know other ravens are watching.

Not different from parrots, ravens can also learn to talk and mimic noises better than some parrots. Ravens can imitate animal calls, bird calls, car engines, and many more. Another smart thing about them is that ravens use hand gestures to communicate. Ravens point their beaks to indicate an object just like we do with our fingers. Along with that, these smart birds are also very playful and cheeky. They would roll down snowy hills in winter, and sometimes they mock or taunt other animals around them.

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