These animals are exponentially smarter than you, and more delicious

These animals are exponentially smarter than you, and more delicious

VicesMay 01, 2014

Humans are smug. We think just because we have opposable thumbs, have ventured into space and perfected the art of the manscaping that we are somehow smarter than the rest of the animal kingdom. Well, shaved scrotum or not, these animals would probably do better on finals than you.

1) Dolphins
Everyone knows dolphins are the smart-asses of the sea. They communicate with one another through clicks and whistles to hunt in packs and teach their young how navigate those salty waters. They live in tight, familial groups and are one of the few species that fuck for fun. They’re also capable of learning fancy tricks that we love to gawk at while in San Diego. But, did you know that they also are one of the few mammals that are self-aware when looking into a mirror? Pretty impressive for something you thought was a fish, a possible ingredient in that "Dolphin of the Sea" sandwich you're eating.

2) Elephants
You’ve heard they saying, “An elephant never forgets,” right? Well, that’s because they don’t. Elephants return to grave sites, watering holes and feeding grounds after years of not seeing the place. They also communicate with one another through body language, vocalizations and touch to protect the herd from a predator, find missing calves, and to problem solve as you'll see in the video. They form strong emotional bonds with other elephants, and when one of the heard is killed, they mourn the loss for the rest of their pachyderm lives. They use tools to swat away flies, plug up leaks and even paint pictures better than you. Also, they're self-aware, and console each other when they’re distressed, just like humans. Well, not all humans (fuck you, boyfriend).

3) Octopi
The Kraken has been terrorizing the sea since the sea been saw, but he’s also one of the most intelligent beings down there too. An octopus's brain has two areas dedicated only to memory and learning. Which is not something you see in many animals. Their entire bodies are covered in neurons as well, allowing them to independently move each sucker on all of their eight arms. These tentacled terrors can make their way through mazes, solve problems, like how to get into a jar, and remember how they were solved. Also, since they have no bones, they're able to fit into any crevasse the size of their eye. Although that doesn't make them any smarter, it sure makes them a hell of a lot cooler. 


4) Pigs
One of the most delicious animals in the world is also one of the smartest. Pigs learn just as fast as chimps, are much better at learning words and commands than dogs, and can play video games. Research has also found that pigs are not only self-aware when in the presence of a mirror, but they can use those mirrors to survey their surroundings and find food. Sorry to say though Wilbur, your delicious flesh will be more important to us humans than your cognitive abilities will ever be. 

5) Crows
Thanks to Alfred Hitchcock, crows are the freakiest birds alive. What’s really scary is that they’re actually smart as fuck, and while they’re leering at you from a power line watching your every move, they’re actually creating a master plan to get those French fries out of your hand. They have vivid memories, anticipate the future and use tools to make their lives easier. Crows in highly populated areas have even learned that dropping nuts into traffic cracks them open so they don’t have to. Genius birds, getting us to do their dirty work. 

6) Dogs
Man's best friend has gotta be smart if they're hanging out with us, right? Some breeds, like German Shepherds and Border Collies, are smarter than others, but most dogs can learn to use basic mechanisms, like the door knob or to flush the toilet. They also have the brain capacity to learn between 150 and 250 words, that's as many as a two-year-old. And get this, they can even do your math homework. This study found dogs may be able to count to five, and understand basic arithmetic. So, if you think your dog is stupid, it’s probably just you.

7) African Grey Parrots
Parrots are much more than just pretty birds, they’re bona fide chatterboxes that actually understand what you're saying. Not too long ago, people thought parrots just mimicked human speech; however, recent studies have shown that African Grey Parrots can have a vocabulary of up to 1,500 words and use them in the right context. Even crazier, they understand shapes, colors and simple number systems. Polly doesn’t want cracker ... she wants a diploma.

8) Orcas
Orcas get a bad rap because they’re vicious killers, but that doesn’t mean they’re stupid. They live in close, cultural groups where the oldest teach the youngest how to survive in the deep blue sea. They communicate with bio-sonar and echolocation to plan group attacks on prey, and even pick out their favorite fish from an ocean full of them. When in captivity these whales are capable of learning all sorts of cool tricks. But you should never get too comfortable with them, they have no problem murdering your ass.


9) Primates
It’s not all shit slinging, and bug eating with primates. Chimps, orangutans, and gorillas have massive brains. They can be taught sign language, and to understand people. They ace memory tests that humans struggle with, and are the originators of animal tool usage. Primate’s brains are similar to human's, and are capable of self-awareness, empathy and group planning. That’s a lot more than you can say for your teenage sister, amiright.