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Thread: The 10 smartest animals

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default The 10 smartest animals

    (better lay off the pork chops and octopus dishes)

    The 10 smartest animals - Science-

    Chimps are almost like us

    If we humans possess intelligence, chimpanzees must have some as well: Our genomes are at least 98 percent identical. Chimps make and use tools, hunt in organized groups and engage in acts of violence. Wild troops have distinct behaviors and customs. Field observations and lab experiments show chimps are capable of empathy, altruism and self-awareness. In the experiment pictured here, chimps performed better than humans on a number memory test.

    Dolphins get creative

    This dolphin in Australia uses a sponge to protect her snout when foraging on the seafloor, a tool use behavior that is passed on from mother to daughter. Scientists say that’s just one sign of dolphin smarts. Other signs include distinct whistles and clicks that may serve as dolphin names, perhaps used in a type of language. A famous 1960s experiment found that a pair of dolphins entered a tizzy of creativity once they figured out their novel behaviors were rewarded with fish. Frustrated human test subjects just let out a sigh of relief when they caught on to the idea.

    Elephants exhibit self-awareness

    The sheer size of their brains suggests that elephants must know a thing or two about the ways of the world. They have been seen consoling family members, helping other species in times of need, playing in water and communicating with one another via vibrations sensed in their feet. A crowning achievement, some researchers say, was when this female Asian elephant named Happy recognized herself in the mirror. The complex behavior is shared only with humans, great apes and dolphins.

    Cephalopods have big brains

    Are octopi, squids and cuttlefish smart? That’s a matter of scientific intrigue, but such cephalopods are certainly among the brainiest invertebrates in the sea. The cephalopod brain surrounds the esophagus, but shares with the human brain features of complexity such as folded lobes and distinct regions for processing visual and tactile information. The how-smart debate swirls around deciphering observations that the creatures have a seemingly irrepressible curiosity, a disdain for boredom, an ability to learn and the capacity to use tools. The octopus pictured here exerts precise muscle control to eat.

    Crows get crafty

    Crows are crafty critters: They fashion tools from twigs, feathers and other bits of debris to snare food from hard-to-reach places. A crow named Betty, pictured here, uses a straight wire she bent into a hook to retrieve food from a tube. The birds are born with a tool-making ethic, but they hone their craft by watching their elders, a sign of higher intelligence. Ravens, a type of crow, have even been shown to manipulate the outcomes of their social interactions for added protection and more food.


    Squirrels can be deceptive

    Is the squirrel pictured here plotting deception? Perhaps. Researchers recently reported that the rodents put on elaborate shows of deceptive caching to thwart would-be thieves. The behavior increased in a lab experiment after squirrels observed humans stealing their peanuts. The researchers called the finding a sign that squirrels can interpret intentions of others, though it could just be a case of learned behavior. Other studies have shown the critters make three-dimensional maps to recall where they cache their nuts. And squirrels in California will cover their fur in the scent of rattlesnakes to mask their own scent from predators.

    Man's best friend

    Are dogs intelligent or just really good at basic obedience? They can learn to sit, lie down and fetch, for example, but can they read their owner's intentions? Research suggests they can at least find food in response to non-verbal cues, a type of understanding that scientists think may be akin to the human ability to understand someone else's point of view. The dog in the experiment pictured here accurately discriminated between photos of dogs and photos of landscapes – an indication the dog was able to form the concept of "dog."

    Cats are adaptable

    Like dog owners, some cat owners have trained their pets to sit down, roll over and jump through hoops. Cats learn the tricks by observation and imitation, egged on with positive reinforcement. But training cats is harder than dogs. Does that mean they are less intelligent? Not necessarily. Cat experts say felines are just different. They are solitary animals, motivated by the need to survive. This has allowed them to adapt to a variety of domestic environments for at least 9,500 years – even the hoods of cars.

    Pigs are wise - and clean

    Here's the dirt on pigs: They are perhaps the smartest, cleanest domestic animals known – more so than cats and dogs, according to some experts. But pigs don't have sweat glands, so they roll around in the mud to stay cool. A sign of their cleverness came from experiments in the 1990s. Pigs were trained to move a cursor on a video screen with their snouts and used the cursor to distinguish between scribbles they knew and those they were seeing for the first time. They learned the task as quickly as chimpanzees.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    I thought Bonobos were even smarter than chimps?
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Crows are some of my favorite animals. They are incredibly smart!!

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    Elite Member Shelly's Avatar
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    ^I like crows too, beautiful and I love the sound of them ^
    "Well isn't that special"

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    Hit By Ban Bus! Pippin's Avatar
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    I've fallen and I can't get up!


    I also love crows. It doesn't take long for them to recognize people. We've already met a crow friend in our new neighbourhood. He flies to a Hydro wire directly across the street from our front door and caws, and he follows us when we go to the local store, landing on trees along the way. He knows on which side his bread is buttered!

    The crows in our old neighbourhood recognized me even during the coldest winter days when I was all bundled up, wearing a hooded parka.

    I think that most corvids are smart.

    Here is a story and pics of some starlings I'd adopt in a heartbeat! Birds after my own heart!

    Parrots are extremely intelligent as well.

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