If we want to talk about the most intelligent animals in the world, we need to know that Humans are not the only intelligent animals on this planet. Obviously, there are no animals that can match our ability to computer data and develop tools. Humans have created so much that it is hard to even think of other animals as possessing the ability to solve problems or think critically.

Top 12 Most Intelligent Animals on the Earth

The truth is, there are plenty of smart animals on Earth. You just need to know which ones. Here are the top 12 most intelligent animals on Earth.

#12 – Bees


Bees possess the unique ability to think with a swarm intelligence, which helped them come in at number twelve on this list. An individual bee may not be very smart, as a whole, when they are in a swarm, they are able to make complex decisions and coordinate massive efforts.

#11 – Cows


You probably do not think of a cow as being smart, as they are typically seen standing around doing nothing most of the time. Recent research shows that they have a complex emotional mind. They are even capable of having friends and enemies. They experience many strong emotions, including anxiety, fear, and pain. Some studies even suggest that they worry about the future.

#10 – Elephants


Many people are aware that elephants possess at least some level of intelligence, but they may be smarter than you think. Elephants in the wild have been observed picking up sticks in order to pick at ticks on their bodies or other items to swat at flies. They are smart animals and only of the only species on the planet, other than humans, to mourn the loss of their loved ones.

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#9 – Squirrels


Squirrels are quick learners. They learn from each other, with squirrels teaching other squirrels how to steal food and survive. As with the raven, the squirrel is capable of pretending to hide food in one spot while actually hiding it in another. They also have an excellent memory which is used to remember where they have hidden their cache of nuts.

#8 – Whales


Some species of whales are among the largest mammals on the planet and their intelligence is often over-shadowed by their size. They are smart creatures with the ability to solve complex problems. Whales communicate with each other and coordinate their activities using complex sounds.

#7 – Parrots


Parrots are able to talk through mimicry, but they do require an excellent memory in order to be able to memorize various phrases and to be able to solve complex problems. Parrots are one of the more intelligent bird species on this plant and the seventh most intelligent animal overall.

#6 – Bonobos


The bonobo is a primate that is a close cousin to the chimpanzee. They are a species that is close to extinction and is considered highly endangered. The bonobo is only found in central Africa and was not discovered until 1928.

Compared to chimpanzees, the bonobo is actually closer in proportions to a human than a chimpanzee, which can be observed when they are walking upright. They are one of the few animal species other than humans to have sex face to face and even resolve conflict through sex. Both of these traits were previously thought to be unique to humans.

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#5 – Ravens


Ravens are often overlooked as one of the most intelligent animals on Earth. They are very resourceful and even capable of multi-tasking. In studies, they have successfully completed challenging mental problems and they are capable of fooling each other when hiding food.

Researchers have observed ravens that think they are being watched by another bird when hiding food. When this occurs, the raven will pretend to put the food in one place while hiding it in another. Crows, which are closely related to ravens, are also highly intelligent animals, but they are close enough to the raven that it would have seemed odd to place them both on this list.

#4 – Bottlenose Dolphins


Dolphins are a very intelligent species and have a brain that is actually more structurally complex than the human brain. In various studies and research opportunities, scientists have observed dolphins using fish as bait and other complex processes. They are able to learn tricks and communicate with humans in a rudimentary manner.

#3 – Pigs


An adult pig can be just as smart as a toddler. Even though may not appear like a major achievement, pigs are capable of adapting to complex situations and environments.

Studies show that they have a large number of the cognitive capacities that are found in other highly intelligent animals. They have excellent long-term memories, can cooperate with each other, can use mirrors to find hidden food, have complex social communities, and can understand simple symbolic language.

#2 – Chimpanzees


Chimpanzees are able to utilize tools and make changes to their environment. They form their own community and are considered the smartest of the primates. Chimpanzees can learn words, mourn the death of friends and family, and play with objects.

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#1 – Humans – Number 1 of Most Intelligent Animals ?

Most Intelligent Animals

While it may not always seem this way – humans are the most intelligent animals on Earth. Over the course of tens of thousands of years, we have evolved and built large civilizations. Just think about all of the stuff that the human race has accomplished. From the computer or device that you are reading this on right now to space exploration, humans have created major breakthroughs and developed new technologies. There are no other animals on this planet that even come close to the imagination and ingenuity found in humans.

Those are the 12 most intelligent animals on Earth. Humans are not the only animals that possess some level of intelligence. Other creatures, great and small, have the ability to understand their environment. Some can even utilize tools, feel strong emotions, or coordinate major projects with each other. Some of these things are traits that we previously believed were only possessed by humans.

Before you immediately write off an animal as being dumb, consider whether or not you fully understand how their brain works. They may be more intelligent than you really thought, as is often the case with some of the animals that made this list of the top 12 most intelligent animals on Earth.

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