All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
— Cecil Frances Alexander
Today, many people do not take time out of their busy schedule to reflect on the beauty and the wonder of the universe, let alone pay attention to the level of intelligence of the creatures round about them or with which they share the planet.
Now, here are five of the top most intelligent animals on the planet according to neuropsychiatrist Jon Lieff:
Lieff argued that bees use symbolism and abstract concepts to solve problems in their daily lives.
“They have a kaleidoscopic memory of every flower for miles, and learn from wise elders where the best flowers are,” he told Discovery News. “Bees self-medicate in their hives in different ways, and engineer the very complex honeycomb structures that are the most efficient possible for honey storage.”
According to Lieff, octopuses are extremely intelligent; he noted that they spread cultural information, mimic others and communicate using colors, patterns, and flashing.
“They have advanced spatial learning capacity, navigational abilities and use creative predatory techniques,” he added. “They manipulate objects as well as the human hand does,” he declared.
Elephants are said by Lieff to have highly evolved social capabilities and often show wise, compassionate, and loving behaviors.
“In captivity, elephants have become excellent artists,” Lieff said.
“Elephant communication is elaborate involving many different vocalizations, and they ‘speak’ to family five miles away. Elephants are extremely collaborative, consoling and cooperative, and deeply mourn their dead,” he added.
Elephants are noted to have remarkable memories and can remember friends and enemies alike for up to fifty years or more, depending on their health and lifetime.
Lieff has stated that ants are not only the ultimate team players, but also they display great individual intelligence as well.
They can navigate long distances with ease, remembering their lengthy routes.
“Ants care for their family similar to many mammals and show altruism for comrades,” Lieff said, mentioning that ants are the second society on earth (after termites) to develop agriculture. Human-established agriculture evolved much later.
Dolphins continue to astound researchers. These marine mammals in captivity can remember the communications of their fellow tank mates for at least 20 years, according to Lieff.
“They also immediately notice themselves in a mirror, and are very creative in inventing new ways to fish,” he continued. “They wear sponges on their noses to protect themselves near rocks. They have advanced social relations with humans, such as herding large schools of fish toward fishermen wading in the water with nets. When the fish are about to come in contact with the nets, the dolphins signal the fishermen by slapping the water.”
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