10 Lesser-Known Facts About Animal Intelligence

Animals never fail to surprise us with their intelligence and abilities. While we may be familiar with some well-known examples of animal intelligence, there are plenty of lesser-known facts that highlight just how smart and amazing animals can be. Join us as we explore 10 fascinating facts about animal intelligence that will leave you in awe.

1. Lemurs Can Steal Food From Your Plate

In a study conducted by researchers at Duke University, lemurs were shown to have a remarkable understanding of social intelligence. Blind-folded humans were left with food on plates, and lemurs from large groups quickly grasped the purpose of the blind-fold and managed to steal food off the plate. This experiment demonstrated that living in large social groups helps animals learn and grow significantly.

2. Wolves Copy Better Than Dogs

A study published in the PLOS ONE journal revealed that wolves have a better ability to learn by observing than dogs. In the study, fifteen six-month-old mongrel dogs and fourteen six-month-old wolves were observed. Each animal watched a trained dog opening a box and getting rewarded for the act. At the end, all the wolves successfully opened the box, while only ten dogs were able to do so. This suggests that wolves have a natural ability to copy and learn from each other, possibly due to their pack lifestyle where they are dependent on one another.

3. Rats Have Working Memories Like Humans

Humans have working memories, which are memories for intermediate results that must be held during thinking. Surprisingly, rats also have similar working memories. Research has shown that rats can remember complex routes, solve puzzles, and perform tasks that require them to hold information in their working memory. This indicates that their cognitive abilities are more advanced than we may have previously thought.

4. Crows Understand the Concept of Zero

Crows have been found to possess an understanding of the concept of zero. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, crows were trained to associate symbols with different quantities of food. They were then presented with a symbol representing zero and learned to choose it when there was no food available. This shows that crows are capable of recognizing and understanding numerical concepts, which is quite remarkable for a non-human species.

5. Dolphins Use Tools

Tool use is often considered a sign of advanced intelligence, and dolphins have been observed using tools in the wild. Bottlenose dolphins have been seen using marine sponges to protect their noses while foraging for food on the ocean floor. By wearing these sponges like a mask, they can avoid getting scratched by the sharp rocks and corals. This behavior demonstrates their ability to problem solve and adapt to their environment.

6. Elephants Can Recognize Themselves in a Mirror

Self-recognition in a mirror is considered a high-level cognitive ability. While humans, apes, and a few other species have demonstrated this ability, elephants are among the latest additions to the list. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, elephants were found to recognize themselves in a mirror by making specific movements and touching marks on their bodies that were only visible in the mirror. This suggests that elephants have a sense of self-awareness and self-recognition.

7. Octopuses Can Escape Through Small Spaces

Octopuses are highly intelligent creatures and are known for their remarkable problem-solving abilities. One of their most impressive skills is their ability to escape from extremely small spaces. Despite their soft bodies, octopuses can contort themselves and squeeze through openings that are no larger than their eyeballs. This agility and flexibility demonstrate their advanced problem-solving abilities and cognitive skills.

8. Pigs Are Highly Intelligent and Social Animals

Pigs are often overlooked when it comes to animal intelligence, but they are actually highly intelligent and social creatures. Research has shown that pigs are capable of learning complex tasks, recognize themselves in mirrors, and even play simple video games. They have also been found to have a good sense of navigation and can quickly adapt to new environments. Pigs are far more intelligent and emotionally complex than they are given credit for.

9. Bees Can Recognize Human Faces

Bees have long been recognized for their exceptional navigational abilities and complex communication systems. But did you know that bees can also recognize human faces? In a study conducted by Australian and French researchers, bees were trained to associate a picture of a human face with a sugary reward. They were able to recognize and remember the specific face even when presented with different angles and lighting conditions. This shows that bees have remarkable visual learning abilities and can process complex visual information.

10. Parrots Can Solve Complex Puzzles

Parrots are known for their ability to mimic human speech, but their intelligence goes beyond just their vocal capabilities. They have been shown to possess problem-solving skills and the ability to solve complex puzzles. Researchers have presented parrots with various puzzles, such as opening locked boxes or removing obstacles to access food rewards. The parrots were able to figure out these challenges through trial and error or by observing and imitating other parrots. This demonstrates their high-level cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills.

In conclusion, these lesser-known facts about animal intelligence provide a glimpse into the incredible cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills of various animal species. From lemurs stealing food from plates to parrots solving complex puzzles, animals continue to astonish us with their intelligence. It’s clear that we have only scratched the surface when it comes to understanding the true extent of animal intelligence.