Top 10 Most Intelligent Animals On Earth


Intelligence or Smartness is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. A trait that is a hallmark of Humans. Human intelligence is the intellectual prowess of humans, which is marked by high cognition, motivation, and self-awareness.

Although most people wouldn’t typically associate intelligence with animals, that is a bit of a misconception. In some ways, animal exhibit intelligence in certain ways that you could say they are smarter than even humans at performing these tasks.

Toptenia prepared for you a selection of 10 most intelligent animals on earth that you’ve probably don’t know:

10. Cats

Most Intelligent Animals

Cat intelligence is the capacity of the domesticated cat to solve problems and adapt to its environment. Research has shown that the feline intelligence includes its ability to acquire new behaviour and applies previously learned knowledge to new situations, communicating needs and desires, and responding to training cues. Cats have a unique ability to learn by trial and error, observation and imitation. Cat learning abilities are aided by a good memory.

9. Squirrels

Most Intelligent Animals

Squirrels communicate with each other through various vocalizations and scent marking and are extremely intelligent creatures. They are known to put on elaborate bogus food burying displays to deceive onlookers. They also perform fake burials to trick potential thieves, such as other squirrels or birds, into thinking that they have stored their food stock there.

8. Elephants

Most Intelligent Animals

Elephants are exceptionally smart animals. They have the largest brain of any land animal and three times as many neurons as humans. While many of these neurons exist to control the elephant’s large and dexterous body, these animals have demonstrated their impressive mental capabilities time and time again.

7. Octopus

Most Intelligent Animals

Octopus is thought to be the most intelligent invertebrates and an important example of advanced cognitive evolution in animals. Scientific studies are increasingly confirming that they are intelligent creatures. Research has shown that octopuses learn easily, including learning by observation of another octopus.

They can solve problems, as when they remove a plug or unscrew a lid to get prey from a container. They are highly skilled hunters who use well-developed strategies when finding food.

6. Dogs

Most Intelligent Animals

Humans and dogs have co-evolved through living together for over 12,000 thousand years. Man’s best friend has a very high degree of social intelligence.

Dogs learn in a variety of different ways such as reinforcement or through observing the behaviour of other dogs, and even humans. They go through a series of cognitive development stages, just like humans. Dogs have been shown to display a range of complex emotions, including optimism, pessimism, depression, and jealousy.

5. Blue Whales

Most Intelligent Animals

The Blue Whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on earth. Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant – their hearts, as much as a car. It is thought that whales feel emotions.

Recent research studies and observations have revealed that whales not only have the ability to learn as individuals, but those individuals can then pass their new knowledge onto others. This is a rare intelligence in the animal kingdom.

4. Parrots and Crows

Most Intelligent Animals

While parrots have the distinction of being able to mimic human speech, studies with the grey parrot have shown that some are able to associate words with their meanings and form simple sentences. Parrots and Crows are considered the most intelligent of birds. A parrot’s brain is highly developed and efficient and has the problem-solving ability to learn, adapt and solve navigation, language learning, and social relationships skills.

3. Dolphins

Most Intelligent Animals

We always knew dolphins showed intelligence, but new research is revealing that they’re more like us than you might have suspected! Dolphins have the largest brains in the animal kingdom. Characterized by their advanced communication skills, they have also been considered to be self-aware with the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror.

When dolphins are in trouble, they display a degree of cohesiveness rarely seen in other animal groups. If one becomes sick and heads toward the shallow water on her distress call, the entire group will sometimes follow for help.

2. Ants

Most Intelligent Animals

When we think of intelligent members of the animal kingdom, the creatures that spring immediately to mind are apes and monkeys. But in fact, the social lives of some members of the insect kingdom are sufficiently complex to suggest more than a hint of intelligence.

Among these, the world of the ant has come in under considerable scrutiny. Ants store food, repel attackers and use chemical signals to contact one another in the case of attack.

Such a level of communication can be compared to the human use of visual and auditory channels (as in chants, and martial music) to arouse and propagate moods and attitudes. Because of the remarkable intelligence of insects with tiny brains, ants may ascribe their capabilities to the hive or colony.

In fact, there is increasing evidence that individual ants are very intelligent, which allows for intelligent actions of the colony.

1. Chimpanzees

Most Intelligent Animals

Researchers have proven that chimpanzees are self-aware and can anticipate the impact of their actions on the environment around them, an ability once thought to be uniquely human. They can manipulate their environment and utilize tools in order to help the community accomplish certain tasks. By and large, they are often considered to be the smartest primate and therefore one of the most intelligent animals in the world.

Chimpanzees have been shown to have their own individual personalities and behave in a way indicating that they feel empathy. They have a complex social system and live in fluid social groups consisting of a core of multiple females and dominant related males, whom are highly territorial and will routinely patrol their home boundaries.