Updated January 2nd, 2024 at 12:59 IST

Most intelligent animals who showcase problem solving skills and emotional intelligence

The intelligence of animals extends far beyond instinct, showcasing remarkable cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and social complexity.

Intelligent animals | Image:Unsplash

Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution resulted in human beings becoming the intelligent species that we are today. However, we tend to forget that all the species on earth have their own level of intelligence, some that we are yet to study and understand. But from what limited knowledge we have of the behaviour and intelligence of the animal kingdom, here is a list of some of the most intelligent animals.


Dolphins, particularly bottlenose dolphins, are renowned for their high intelligence and complex social structures. They exhibit self-awareness, use tools, and engage in intricate communication through a system of clicks and whistles. Dolphins are known to display problem-solving skills and even demonstrate empathy toward other members of their pod.

Dolphins | Image: Unsplash

Great Apes

Members of the great ape family, including chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans, share a close genetic relationship with humans. They showcase advanced problem-solving abilities, tool usage, and emotional depth. Chimpanzees, in particular, have been observed using tools to extract insects or cracking nuts.


These gentle animals are celebrated for their remarkable memory and problem-solving skills. They exhibit complex social structures, strong family bonds, and demonstrate empathy. Elephants are known to mourn their dead, show a sense of self-awareness, and go through challenging environments with an impressive spatial memory.

Elephants | Image: Unsplash


These sea creatures are masters of camouflage and problem-solving. With large brains relative to their body size, these marine creatures exhibit exceptional memory and can solve intricate puzzles. Their ability to change colour and texture for communication and camouflage highlights their cognitive prowess.


Pigs are often underestimated in terms of intelligence, but studies have revealed their impressive cognitive abilities. They can learn tasks quickly, recognise themselves in mirrors, and even play simple video games. Pigs have demonstrated problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt to new environments with ease.


These tiny bees operate as highly organised colonies with individual bees showcasing cognitive abilities. They can communicate the location of food sources through intricate dances, display numerical competence, and learn to associate specific odours with rewards. The collective intelligence of a bee colony is a testament to their intricate social structure.

Honeybees | Image: Unsplash

Border Collies

Among domesticated animals, border collies are often considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Known for their agility and trainability, border collies excel in problem-solving tasks and are quick learners. They thrive on mental stimulation and often outperform other breeds in tasks that require intelligence.


Published January 2nd, 2024 at 12:59 IST