Top 19 Smartest Animals on the Planet. #1 Can Talk.

Pigeons can learn to distinguish between a Picasso and a Monet. Dolphins speak. Honey bees, rats, and baboons can count. Octopi can solve puzzles.

How do scientists assess animal intelligence? Well, that’s a matter of much debate. But there is general agreement that certain things are part of it, such as problem solving skills, memory and communication. 

You probably knew about dolphins and chimps already, but get ready for the other living creatures at the top of the class! Here are the brainiest animals in the world…

New Zealand Robins

Ever wish you could find a generous partner who just “gets” you? Well, female New Zealand robins are lucky that way. Not only do their male counterparts share their food, but they pamper their partners with a variety of tantalizing grub.

Moray eels and groupers

Stronger together. This might be the motto of the amazing interspecies hunting partnership of coral groupers and moray eels, who team up to capture common prey. The grouper shakes, shimmies and even does headstands to alert the eel to the hiding spot of tasty prey.

Then the eel does his thing: squeezing into tight spaces to nudge their lunch out into the open. The speedy grouper then zips in for the capture. Nice work, team!

Emerald anoles

Leapin’ lizards! The emerald anole is one clever reptile. Researchers once tried to outsmart the cold-blooded cuties, who always attack from above, by covering some tasty insect larvae with a cap. But the determined little creatures problem solved their way to the tasty snack, displaying a level of adaptability and intelligence that some thought was beyond their capacity.


Talk about teamwork. Ant colonies are true models of harmony and efficiency, with each ant both an individual and an essential part of one whole organism. The hard-working insects can smell each other’s job assignments, and an ant will switch gears to take over a duty that hasn’t been smelled in a while.