Top 15 Smartest and Most Intelligent Animals

You’ll see some animals considered the smartest and most intelligent. I wanted to make top 10 but they’re many different sources so I made top 15. It’s subjective to rank which one is smarter than the other especially some animals on bottom rank, just judge yourself.

15. Sheep

If threatened, they make large groups and run away together from predators. Can remember and identify animal face (other sheep’s in the same group, they’ve met predator) can remember and identify human face.

14. Pigeon

They have a great memory that can recognise themselves in the mirror, can remember hundreds of different images/photos and learn routes to their home from long distances.

13. Rat

Once they’ve experienced rat trap, they wont get trap anymore. They have a strong social relationship, maybe stress even die after their partner died. Like dogs, can be trained to sniff out land mines and bombs.

12. Octopus

Octopus are the smartest among all invertebrates because they can change color in less than a second, mimicking seaweed, crab, coral, etc. They can use tool with their tentacles (e.g. open bottle).

11. Squirrel

They can remember their home by identifying trees, bushes, flowers, etc. Every fall, they bury a thousands of nuts in many places and they can remember where to find all nuts during winter. To fool their rival, they make some “fake nuts burial”.

10. Pig

In fact, they’re one of the cleanest and odorless animals, they have emotion, sensitivity, hurt feelings and easily bored. Very sociable to humans, trainable. Some say they are more trainable than dog.

9. Cat

Trainable, can recognize radio, television, they can even check traffic before crossing the street. They’re smart enough to get attention (meow, rub near ankle, follow you, sit on your lap, etc.). Cats can hear and recognise their owner’s footstep or stranger’s footstep.

8. Dog

The man’s best friend, very trainable, sociable to humans, can understand commands and obedience. Can identify and remember animal or human faces they’ve met, they can recognise radio, television, etc.  Dogs can be sensitive, jealous and they won’t forget someone hurting them in their entire life.

7. Parrot

Parrot can mimic human words, understand the meanings, can remember many words and make sentences. Well-trained, can count up to 6 and can identify many objects. They can answer simple questions and can use tools with their beak (e.g.painting).

6. Crow

They’re the smartest among all birds, can count up to 3. Very creative because they can make and use tools without training (e.g. use branch to gather food). Sometimes they put nuts on the street and wait until car or pedestrian crack the nuts, then eat the nuts.

5. Elephant

Elephant can recognise themselves in the mirror, very altruistic. Among other animals, elephant has they’re own “death ritual”. They use their trunk to take a bath, drink, get food, play, even use tool (e.g. painting).  They can mimic sounds, few human words and can understand the meaning if they’re well-trained.

4. Monkey

Monkey can imitate humans behaviour without training and if well-trained, they can behave like humans (e.g) drink from bottle and ride  bicycle). Like human, they have egoism, vain, pride and strong relationship. If two monkeys were fighting, the relatives of one monkey will threaten the relatives of the other monkey.

3. Whale

They can find their relatives separated miles away in the sea for unknown reason but they have their own language to communicate, can call each other and have a strong friendships in a group. Whales can “sing” with their sound and can make many different “songs” in a good tone.

2. Dolphin

Dolphin is the smartest aquatic animals, they can recognise themselves in the mirror. Very trainable and can hold and use tool with their teeth for painting. They use whistling sound to communicate with best communication system among animals.

1. Great Apes

The 98% genes of the great apes are same as human, the smartest species is chimpanzee. They can also recognise themselves in the mirror, they can make tool (e.g. stone to cut food), use tool (e.g. painting). Like human, they can kiss, snuggle, tickle, laugh, can count very trainable and have language.

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60 Responses to “Top 15 Smartest and Most Intelligent Animals”
  1. Unofre Pili Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 9:56 am

    An informative and fun article.

  2. amilia snow Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 10:09 am

    thanks for sharing, a very interesting article, as always :)

  3. Francy Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 10:10 am

    i didn’t know that crow can count up to 3…very informative article

  4. Darla Beck Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Very interesting article!

  5. Hello Kylie Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 11:40 am

    The octopus is a surprising one!

  6. Ramalingam Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 11:43 am

    A very novel idea.Thank you

  7. Dundas20012002 Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    My dear Princess, seeing what thes 15 animals can do I feel very inadequate as a human

  8. TheMnofdichotomy Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Interesting article ~ such cute pics too!

  9. Mrs M Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I never knew that some of these animals were on the top smart animal list. Well done

  10. DA Cournean Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 5:34 pm


  11. Jenny Heart Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Loved all the information and the pictures were interesting and funny. like it!

  12. Radhika Bhargava Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    very interesting

  13. LOVELYHONEY Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    HOW DID YOU FORGET ME ?????????/

  14. Eunice Tan Says...

    On June 17, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Two thumbs up for you for this wonderful article

  15. Christine Ramsay Says...

    On June 18, 2009 at 8:51 am

    This is a brilliant article and the pictures are so cute. Great work.


  16. Lex92 Says...

    On June 18, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Great article learned a lot!

  17. Rookie Expert Says...

    On June 19, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Very interesting article. I cant pick a favourite, but love the elephant painting picture!

  18. ibelieveindog Says...

    On June 20, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Where’s all the Christians bellyaching about God only gave humans brains and put the animals here to serve us?

  19. ibelieveindog Says...

    On June 20, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Where\’s all the Christians bellyaching about God only gave humans brains and put the animals here to serve us?

  20. Kate Smedley Says...

    On June 23, 2009 at 5:09 am

    Another excellent article, I learned a lot here.

  21. Steve Says...

    On August 23, 2009 at 4:48 pm


  22. vinit Says...

    On November 28, 2009 at 8:57 am

    nice facts thanks i never abut some of the facts

  23. ilanahchka Says...

    On March 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm


  24. carlito Says...

    On March 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm


    They didn’t make it to the top 15. They’re too stupid. I mean, look at G.W. Bush and his ilk (e.g. millions of voters who elected him twice)

  25. Heero Says...

    On March 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Not accurate but interesting…

  26. Abhinav Says...

    On March 26, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Very interesting article

  27. Mohammed Says...

    On March 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    interesting. Looked the top 10 and mkssed the dog that we commonly use and train even for booms sniffing. The top 15 has included the dog in its rightful place.

  28. Glaciatus Says...

    On March 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Oh spare me! These animals can’t even perform 1% of the intellectual activities that humans are able to. As to now I haven’t seen any animal driving cars, piloting planes, solving complex calculations or using a language comparable to the one humans use. If the chimpanzee owns his intelligence to the fact that his genes are 98% identical to the human ones, then why can’t it realize at least 98% of the things that humans are capable of accomplishing ? I guess that the “genes” argument is pretty irrelevant.
    These animals are bright, and they can be trained very easily, but it’s imprudent to even think of comparing them to humans.

  29. Brados Says...

    On April 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Very interesting article.Thank you CutestPrincess.

  30. Tim Thomas Says...

    On September 6, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    too bad the author of this article is dumber then the animals mentioned, bad spelling, bad grammar

  31. None of Your Business Says...

    On September 19, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Why didn’t humans make the list???

  32. manank Says...

    On September 25, 2010 at 2:16 am

    interesting :)
    @glaciatus: they have 98% similar to humans ; the remaining 2% is the selfishness and other wrong ideas which only humans possess.
    the qualities you mentioned above like driving,painting,etc is not innate in humans. we are trained as we gorw up. for example if we keep a human baby in jungle to grow on its own; even that human baby will not be able to all that stuff because it has never learnt :)

  33. Amber Says...

    On January 2, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    This article is ridiculous. Who is to say what constitutes as intelligence. For a creature so vastly different than us, it would be impossible to determine intelligence using standards designed for a human. Since when did acting like a human equal intelligence? Drinking from a bottle? Riding a bicycle? Just because “great ape” genetics most closely matches a human, does that mean that they are smarter than any other species. We have alot to learn from other animals, one of them being humility. All species have means of communicating. Whether it’s via sound or pulse or light or whatever energy that the species may utilize…we understand them as much as they appear to understand us.

  34. Matthieu Says...

    On January 9, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Some very good points, but some other that are very stupids. Not very accurate article then.
    Pigeons, rats, octopuses, elephants, parrots, great apes and certain monkeys, dolphins and whales and pigs are actually known to have some form of intelligence, and then are known as intelligents animals, but the other in the list are not.

    Cats and dogs, for example, can be trained, that’s true, and we like to think that they are intelligent because they are closed from us, but they actually are not intelligent at all. What they “learn” is actually inculcated in them as reflexes, reactions; a dog answer to an order not because he recognizes a word, but because he recognizes an intonation, a vibration, …

    To be called “intelligent,” an animal (and I put human beings in my definition of “animal”) must fulfill some criterias, like recognizing itself in a mirror (which is a real proof of the conscience of its existence), or being able to create its own tools by itself (a tool being here defined as an object used many time for the same purpose (a rock thrown by a bird to break a nut is considered as a tool only if the bird always use the same rock), or as a combination of two or more elements to create an object that has a purpose), or some other criterias …

    (Sorry if my english is not perfect, it’s not my native language …)

  35. R.T. Tuntersunds Says...

    On January 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I feel you got top animals right, but the order is off a bit. Theres been new light recently into the intelligent of octopi witch should place them in the top 5. They have been able to solve complex puzzles to obtain food. Even learning from others. If a octopus that unsuccessfully tried to open a container with food in it is placed in a tank next to another octopus attempting to open the the same container. Will watch the other recognizing that it is attempting what it had failed before, seemingly anticipating a successful attempt from the former. It will watch more intently and swim closer to the dividing glass in the tank as the octopus thats trying to open the container gets closer to a successful attempt and finally getting the food in the container. Then on a second attempt after watching the successful octopus will open the container nearly twice as fast, only doing the movements/steps required to open the container and leaving out the others trials and not just mimicking the former but reasoning what exactly was needed to be done to get the food.

    I don’t know what you guys think, but a being that can recognize the same puzzle, realize a failure. anticipate an others success or failure. Then process the unless actions of a others attempt using reasoning selecting only the useful actions to open the container is pretty darn smart. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day they where considered the smartest animal on the planet after humans.

  36. someone Says...

    On January 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    uh, with apes only 98% of 2% is the same as humans. >_>

  37. eminem Says...

    On January 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    R.T. tuntersunds no one cares about your octupus crap

  38. ludacris Says...

    On January 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    um essqueeze me but humans are like animals too retard. i guess we are just not smart enough to know that since we aren’t top 15.

  39. Rasputan Says...

    On January 29, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I’ll bet each of these animals are also capable of better english as well.

  40. p. lions Says...

    On February 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Why does the cat have a gun and all other animals are doing productive things or playing games? Why is a dog called “sociable” when a cat is just as sociable or even more so? Cats can understand training and obedience just like a dog can. There are people who dont train their dog, dont take it outside so it destroys the house. There are people also that dont give their cat attention or any scratching post so it of course destroys the furniture. Cats also can be sensitive and jealous and never forget someone hurting them. This is, like everything else annoyingly biased against cats. Unless the intent was not to do so, but everything in our society puts cats as “sneaky, evil” creatures while dogs are “loyal and honest” what kind of *& is that? Cats need a PR manager!!

    Just because they dont have nails that click clack with every step doesnt make them sneaky.

    Humans do not belong on this list. We’re not worthy of being in the same category as these wonderful, trusting loving creatures.

  41. Ravi Says...

    On February 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    seriously great article dear..and the pictures of the animals you have put in the articles are superb…seriously nice..

  42. Fuck Says...

    On February 27, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Very imformative for my project

  43. Kevin Says...

    On February 27, 2011 at 6:09 am

    That was a splendid article. It was helpful.

  44. Firedragon Says...

    On March 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    your forgot to mention octopuses or octopi however you would say it have an ability to reason and have surpassed some tests that apes could not solve. It was great and for anyone else this is animals in general. Of corse humans are the smartest :P not to sound rude or anything.

  45. Yamin2011 Says...

    On March 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

    NYC !…hahahaha

  46. Doc Says...

    On March 24, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Quantifying intelligence is something really difficult. In fact, we are unable. Even in humans there’s not a rule to say who’s more intelligent than who.
    Matthieu says: “To be called “intelligent,” an animal [...] must fulfill some criterias, like recognizing itself in a mirror (which is a real proof of the conscience of its existence), or being able to create its own tools by itself, [...], or some other criterias…”
    The problem here is intelligence in humans is also conditioned by our bodys. The fact that we have hands that we don’t use to walk makes us able to use tools. You can’t expect a cat or a dog to use a tool. Birds are more propense to use tools cause they in fact use their beaks as if they were tools.
    Also, animals perceive the world in a diferent way. It is hard to test their intelligence. For example, a cat that sees itself in a mirror won’t recognize itself. But after sometime it will stop wondering what this “other cat” is. We don’t know if it has discovered it is its reflection or it just has lost interest.
    In the same way, when you say dogs and cats can’t learn and they have no “intelligence” at all, that they only react, you are just making a suposision. I don’t know how intelligent are my cats, but i can tell they can recognize persons, they look at my eyes, and they can learn to open some kind of doors. I had a dog and it learned somethings without there being a direct price, just cause they were useful or fun. What we don’t know is to what extent did she learn them. Maybe it wasn’t really intelligent, or maybe it was.

  47. romel Says...

    On April 23, 2011 at 11:06 am


  48. David Says...

    On July 16, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Can a great ape spell better than you?

  49. zozopaw Says...

    On July 18, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Dogs should be the smartest!

  50. Kevin Hillman Says...

    On August 31, 2011 at 3:26 am

    A lot of these species have been around this planet a long time.
    None of them have have a self directed ability to communicate with humans, except in a rudimentry fashion. We use behavioral techniques involving reward to make them do things, but I dont think we will be discussing the origins of the universe with them in the near future.
    Here is a “frontier of thought for the evolutionalist”…Why is the human race the only entity that has the intellect, ability to appreciate art, do advanced math/science, and innovate in the areas of developing social improvements/philiosophy, astronomy. and industry etc..
    The evolutionalists admit that lower forms of life existed on this planet before the human species. Why haven’t they progressed over time epiracally shown that they are on the way of evolving.
    Physically the human race does not have the perfect stature in surviving long enouging to get where we are.
    That is one reason why I think we have had a divine force that gave us life, and a jump start in our evolution.
    You won’t hear Hawking talking about this stuff. He seem to be recently hell bent on ensuring that there is a way that a state of nothingness in the universe, in a black hole where time does not exist, has his answer that god was not needed in our creation.
    It will take time before we get this right. When we do, there will be a legacy of alot of contemporary educated pundits ,who have driven round pegs in to square holes ,so that they could finish their life with the reputation of knowing it all. We haven’t seen nothing yet!

  51. smarter than you Says...

    On September 26, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Ok for all the people tat say humans are the smartest because we can drive and solve complex math problems here is a little food for thought… in what part of a dolphins or dogs or even a great apes life will they ever need to do any of those things. Come on people think aout it before you just start rambling. And just so all of you wo say because we can speak so we are the smartest, the last tim I checked a lot of the animals on this list are very capable of communicating with their own species. We cannot communicate with these animals so what makes us think they would be able to communicate with us. Use some logic people. Common sense goes a long way! Great article, thoroughly enjoyed it!

  52. Fresh Says...

    On October 31, 2011 at 10:12 am

    If they share genes, does NOT mean that they can do what we can do. Slugs share a lot of their genes with us. We don’t even look close to them.

    Also, yes; there was a horse which would drive a car, dog which can fly a plane and a Macaw who can do puzzles that most human can’t. There is also an African Grey who can use human language.

    I find these people who think they are the best just annoying, why not do research before actualy posting a comment.

  53. Smartest Says...

    On December 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    If people are so smart why do we have to wear cloths or go to jail. What is the problem.

  54. amy Says...

    On December 25, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Rats should be higher up on the list. Rats can be made into pets, pets who come when called, pets who seek your affection despite the fact that they are not naturally domesticated, like dogs. Dogs have been ‘bred’ by humans for 20,000 years to be our companions, this does not make them smart. Rats can override their natural fear of humans based on on rat lifetime of events, rats learn that their owner will not kill them. Rats can learn mazes faster than dogs too.

  55. observer Says...

    On January 7, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Octopi are surprisingly smart for their size, lack of real brain, and short life span.

    I think you should include raccoons on the list – they are smarter than some of these animals, as they are known for being able to figure out how to work human mechanisms like locks and latches, and use their hands.

  56. madi Says...

    On May 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    this rox

  57. Barbara Daca Says...

    On May 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I would rate cats much higher for the following reasons that I have personally observed. 1. They use their paws to open doors and windows. 2. They are potty trained faster and younger than any other species. 3. In a family group they have their own language and communicate with each other imparting knowledge. (I have obsereved that one who got caught in a trap told the others about it and none have been caught near one for 7 years since. ) 4. The older ones teach the younger ones, even reprimanding them to keep them safe. (Established routes for outrunning dogs and coyotes, who to trust and who to stay away from, who to call to get fed, how to say they want milk or cheese as a snack) 5. They forge friendships with humans, other cats and other animals alike. They forge common enemies as well. 6. They can learn basic words and commands. 7. They have a long term memory 8. They greet each other, they miss each other, they help each other. 9. They are willful and will not do stupid things just because they are told to.( showing the ability to stand up against athority against stupid actions, something not even many humans can accomplish)

  58. Joshua Says...

    On November 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    why does it say ‘well-trained’ if they can imitate humans without training.

  59. Zbyszek Says...

    On December 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I would say that pigs should by at least 5. They are much smarter than dogs and cats. They learn quicker and can learn more sophisticated stuff that dogs have problem with. They normally get to the level similar to 3 year old child. Near elephants and chimpanzees (better in some tasks and worse in others).

  60. Samuel Says...

    On January 7, 2013 at 6:52 am

    We think we are more intelligent than those animals just cause we drive a car :D :D well we are not cause we still cant understand them….and by the way,WHY WOULD A PARROT OR AN ELEPHANT DRIVE A CAR?Glaciatus?????

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