Animal facts

Animal Intelligence Rankings

animal intelligence rankings

Time and time again, experts come up with a series of test for the human Intelligence Quotient (IQ). This test has over time become part of humans, that experts have also come up with a solution as to how humans can improve their intelligence quotient. As difficult as it may be, it is very necessary that one consciously works towards achieving a better intelligence quotient. However, this article is about animals, and from the title, it is obvious that just as ranking human intelligence quotient is important, animal intelligence rankings too is also important.

In this article, we will be looking at how smart and how dumb animals can be, and we will also be sharing a few facts that surrounds the claim that the said animal is intelligent and is deserving of the rank accrued to it.  For instance, it is said the tortoise is a cunning animal, and that the serpent is a very smart and subtle animal, we will really in this article find out which species of animals make it to the least.

Before we further proceed, it is important to note that ranking different types and different species of animals is not necessarily a task of comparing animals especially because no animal chose to be part of creation, neither did any of them decide to have the features they have and how they exist. This exercise in this article is basically one that intends to just analyze the intelligence ranking of this animals, so if you have a pet or pets, read through with your fingers crossed to find it if your pet or any of your pets makes it to the list.

Can Animals Be Ranked Based on their Intelligence?

I guess this is a question with a very obvious answer. I have asked to supply the answer and as well share a few reasons very briefly so that you that do not think that the ranking is just made up for the purposes of creating content.

So, yes different species of animals can be ranked based on their intelligence.

There are animals that can memorize details, no matter how small or how big, there are also animals that can think outside the box and think creatively, there are also animals that have great cognitive ability and can learn, and also remember things fast enough.  Hence, the rankings of animal intelligence is very possible and the next section will lead us to the rank of animals by the virtue of their intelligence.

Animal Intelligence rankings

Animal Intelligence can also be referred to as or be termed “Animal Cognition” using scientific terms. More so, the science of observing the animal intelligence rankings is called the Cognitive Ethnology. However, animal Intelligence rankings is concentrated by the hierarchy of different species of animals as created by scientists based on the perceived or experienced level of smartness and intelligence observed from the animals display through its life cycle. The Animal Intelligence science was derived by scientists through the careful study of the animal’s behaviour, and an observation of its trait in quite extreme form.

Before we proceed to the list, it is necessary to also outline that the series of tests that were performed to acquire the Animal Intelligence Ranking structure includes the use of a few tools. Some of the tools implored to this effect include the following:

  1. The ability and capacity of solving problems
  2. The ability to learn and understand languages and symbols
  3. The spatial use of the memory for a wide range of reasons
  4. The display of consciousness and emotions

The ranking of the intelligence of animals are as not necessarily in any particular order and are as follows:

  1. Great apes
  2. New world Monkeys
  3. Dolphins and whales
  4. Birds
  5. Dogs
  6. Horses
  7. Pigs
  8. Elephants
  9. Rats
  10. Octopus
  11. Ants


  1. Great apes

animal intelligence rankings

In the Ranks of Animal Intelligence, the Great Apes are also on the list. The great apes also identified as ‘Hominids’ and contain a list of species, just like the chimpanzee, the orangutans, the gorillas, and other species of apes. The intelligence rate of the great ape has been observed to be similar to the intelligent rate of humans, more so science has equally proven that great apes share similar genetics as humans by ninety-eight percent.

Furthermore, species of great apes have been observed to have the ability to communicate, express thoughts and even show emotions by the use of the sign languages. Here is an example of an intelligent great ape. The Orangutans.

Orangutans are considered to be one of the intelligent species of the great apes. There are proven claims of a group of them building shelter after they were set free from captivity, because this group of orangutans were taught to build simple structures for shelter using some tools commonly found in the forest or wild where it was captured from.  More so, orangutans have been caught on camera using hammer, saw wood, siphon liquids and even nails. This series of activities only prove that great apes are capable of cognizance.

        2. New World Monkeys

animal intelligence rankings

The New World Monkeys are monkeys like Capuchin and a lot more, they are called new world because they are believed to not be as old as the great apes in existence, hence they are regarded to be evolutionary species of monkeys which is why they are new world monkeys.

Capuchin for example are on the intelligent species of the new world monkeys. This is so because overtime, these species of monkeys have been observed to have shown the ability to use tools, the ability to solve problems, and also self-consciousness.

     3. Whales & Dolphin

The whales are the largest mammals on earth and has made it to the list of intelligent animals because of its ability to understand languages as well as respond especially after it has been trained. It also has the ability of self-awareness.

The dolphin is regarded as the most intelligent fish, and is also associated with the special skill of saving humans in the seas. More so, the dolphins through observations have really demonstrated intelligence through their ability to understand languages and communicate signs, the ability of responding to questions or queries, as well as self-consciousness.

       4. Octopus

The Octopus is another sea animal on the rank of animal intelligence. Scientists have through observations found that the Octopus possesses a very remarkable intelligence following the ability of the Octopus to play games, to recognize and also to identify humans. The octopus is also known for its problem-solving skill, and its ability to remember a solution it has used previously.

     5. Dogs

animal intelligence rankings

If the dog was not on the list of the animal intelligence rankings, I am sure that after dog lovers read this articles, they will have flyers reading “justice for dogs” (on a very light note).

The dog is known to be the most loyal buddy anybody can have, and so is considered the humans best friend as against the other pets. However, with the right training especially at the time that the dog is a puppy, the dog has demonstrated great cognizance ability.

For Instance, the dog possesses qualities like loyalty, obedience, ability to adapt and to learn quite fast, capacity to covetously perform the work assigned to him, ability to solve problems irrespective of how tough they could be, thorough comprehension of the given orders and the ability to remember and obey those commands in the absence of the instructor. They also understand and show emotions.

       6. Birds

animal intelligence rankings

The birds are another species of intelligent animals that made it to the animal intelligence rankings. Some species of the intelligent animals include the following: The Crows, the Parrots and the Ravens. For example, crows have a special ability of counting numbers. I bet you are surprised by this particular fact; well, it is true.  A Crow can count numbers up to three and even more with the right training which is one of the reasons crows are regarded as the smartest bird among other.

Crows can learn speeches like parrots, and can carry out tasks by good training. They are able to differentiate complex tasks, also the Caledonian Crow has been discovered to be able to use knives to cut leaves and stalks of grasses, and even hooks out of the stray bits of wire, that they use to fish grubs out of its various hiding places.

More so, the Crows throw clams, they throw nuts, and throw shells on the roads and have fun as they wait for the passing cars to run over them. By observation, this technique is implored by the crows to help them break the shells that are hard, and the crow picks them up afterwards to enjoy the delicious meal treat inside the shell.

The parrot too has the ability of speaking human languages, and can also count numbers up to six and even more by the virtue of good training. The African Grey Parrots have also been observed to be extremely sociable, very loving, and quite intelligent animals. They learn sounds and words, as well as how to use them in their right context.

Pigeons too also have very sharp and quite retentive memories. They can remember people and places for a long time.  Pigeons are on the list of intelligent animals because of their ability to multitask, which they demonstrate by dividing their attentions between a series of multiple stimuli at the same time, in order to be able to complete a lot of tasks within a shorter given period of time. Only few animals are capable of this ability.

The raven is also an intelligent bird. Creative thinking is an important yardstick of measuring intelligence, and not only are these birds intelligent, these birds equally form quite complex social behaviors, and also have been observed to be capable of acting well in concerts to perform huge tasks like theft, sending messages, delivering food, employing lookouts as well as decoys. These species of birds served as messengers in the ancient times and during the world war.

     7. Horses

The Animal Intelligence Rankings will not be complete if we do not have the horse on the list. This is because horses are very smart creatures, they are active, and somehow know how to apply themselves to activities. More so, the horses’ intelligence as well as the horses’ smartness is very different from the intelligence of the other animals.

This is because horses possess qualities like the ability to learn new things almost immediately and even faster than the others, and are able to do things for themselves, they also have the ability to learn, and to also adapt to daily routines so quickly and do it very efficiently.

    8. Elephants

animal intelligence rankings

Elephants are incredibly intelligent. They are famous for their altruism in protecting their young, and this is only one of the many characteristics that make them amazingly intelligent.

The elephants are very intelligent animals you can tell that by the virtue of having the elephant on the list. It is proven that the elephants have the ability to medicate themselves when they are sick.

When the elephants are sick, they are able to go pluck specific tree, and chew the leaves depending on the ailment. What does this mean? It means that the elephants are self-conscious, as they are able to decipher what is wrong with their health when they sick, then the ability to be able to pick which tree leaf has the healing for that ailment is proof of their cognitive ability.

The elephants also ritualistically bury their dead. They are not like other animals that may just walk over their dead, the elephants like humans are able to fulfil some rites on behalf of their dead.  More so, the elephants are very playful animals, which is why they are able to develop special reasoning and dexterity.

Elephants manipulate or handle tools and object like paintbrushes used to create art. They also are able to create art works themselves especially after they have been trained to do those. They are also able to recognized themselves while in the mirror or in any object that shows them a reflection of themselves.

The fact that they are able to recognize themselves and do the things they do, makes it evident that elephants have some cognitive abilities.

   9. Pigs

For some reasons, pigs are believed to be way smarter than dogs. As against popular knowledge, pigs are very clean animals. A pig will not want to defecate close to the environment where the pig feeds and lives. Also, it is possible for a pig to be trained in the same way a dog or cat can be trained. However, what actually makes the intelligence of the pig quite remarkable is in the complexity of their social lives as it is believed that they used to be the purview of primates.

More so, the mother pigs have overtime been found singing to their piglets while nursing their piglets through the phase. When trained, the pigs play video games well enough, including the games that children may find difficult.

Pigs like other intelligent animals have the ability to learn from observing others, they also engage in a challenge to outsmart each other. A pig could trick another pig and take its food from it, and the pig that was tricked tries to be very careful in the future.

     10. Rats

Rats have a mental ability that is called metacognition which has been proven to be seen only in humans. The pigs also use their very keen sense of smell and very keen hearing to detect and undercover landmines and bombs. They are able to identify human sputum samples that contain tuberculosis or bacteria. Rats are also able to show emotions too.

    11. Ants

animal intelligence rankings

The species of ants are believed to be the smartest insect on earth, and they also have the largest brain mass among all the other species of insects. More so, the ants are very intelligent, very methodical, very strategic as well. The ants have a special ability of scouting food supply.

The ants are also able to delegate responsibilities between hunting, gathering, and defending where they inhabit. They even carry their dead, know how to organize to store up their meals, and they are able to properly control traffic properly.

More so, the ants are very territorial, and the ants will always attack suspected invaders, and they have a reputation for understanding times and seasons, as well as adapting to the changes in the environment as they come with the changing seasons.