OK, silly question of the day time; What are the 10 smartest animals—wait for it—after Pigs?
I ask, because an old reference book of mine gives a list of the 10 smartest animals after humans, as follows:
But that leaves me to wonder a few things…like, how many animals are “between” Pigs and, say, Dogs, in order of intelligence? Has anyone ever made a reliable study of the 20 smartest animals, after humans? Or, at least, made a “ballpark” estimate?
Which book was that in? I don’t know that there’s any objective way to measure the relative intelligence of nonhuman species. Cecil Adams discusses the problem in his column Which is smarter, cats or dogs?
While perhaps not amongst the smartest of animals, racoons are able to get into phenomenonal amounts of trouble due to their opposing digits. An almost obsessive fascination with bright shiny things is no big help either.
Well, squirrels are diabolically clever, as anyone with a bird feeder will attest.
Their acrobatic skills are well known and impressive enough in their own right… but I swear, I’ve seen squirrels sitting on the patio in my back yard looking up at feeders, studying them, and considering the best approach to getting the food for a minute or two, before climbing up the tree and getting right to the food.
Mind you, these feeders were advertised as “squirrel-proof!” In reality, all they did was provide the squirrels with a mental challenge. And the squirrels were always up to the challenge. After looking over the feeders from a distance, and doing a little quick analysis, a squirrel will crack the toughest feeder.
And after seeing all the ways my little brother’s pet gerbils found to escape from their tank (they figured out how to jam the wheel with wood shavings, so that it wouldn’t spin, then climbed to the top of the wheel and started chewing through the plastic ceiling!)… I’m prepared to say that rodents in general are mighty smart.
You might want to check out Alex, the African Grey Parrot. Dr. Pepperburg makes a good case that the African Gray Parrot may be smarter than just about all the animals on your list. Certainly it does a great job on the standard tests of intelligence.