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Saturday, December 20, 2014

5 of the Smartest Animals on Earth

1 - Dolphins are well-documented as intelligent animals. As Discovery News reports, the dolphin’s large brain is structured for awareness and emotion. In fact, dolphin brains are more structurally complex than humans.

2 - The New York Times reports on researchers who have found that domestic pigs can use mirrors to find their food, and will try to deceive other pigs so they can "hog" more food. They also learn quickly and can do tricks ranging from jumping through hoops to playing video games with joysticks.

3 -Anyone who has ever seen a squirrel dart across a crowded street has wondered if they are aware of the danger. It turns out they may be — but if there is food on the opposite end of the street they may not care. Squirrels are fast learners, according to a recent study from Science Daily, and they learn from their peers. Stealing food is a trick that squirrels pass along.

4 -Cows seem like placid animals merely concerned with chewing their cud. As it turns out, they possess a rich and complex emotional life. The Times reports that scientists have found that cows have friends and enemies. Further, “Cows are also capable of feeling strong emotions such as pain, fear and even anxiety they worry about the future.”

5 -Bees exhibit what experts call classic swarm intelligence. A single bee may not be smart in the classical sense, but a hive of bees is. As National Geographic reports, swarm intelligence works when no single creature sees “the big picture.” Rather, each works on simple rules in one location. But what happens when bees disagree? It turns out that they can hold a democratic “dance-off” to make a hive decision.

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