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Which Animal Is the Smartest?

Measuring the intelligence of animals is difficult at best. One problem is that most tests are based on things that we humans want animals to do, such as sitting up on command or stepping on a treadle to get a reward for food. The animalís own needs and wishes are ignored.

Dolphins and killer whales have learned elaborate routines to entertain aquarium audiences. Thought by some to be even more intelligent than man (their brains are proportionately larger), in scientific experiments they have shown great skill in telling the difference between objects of different sizes and shapes. Some observers claim that dolphins even can imitate human speech.

Other animals regarded as intelligent are elephants, horses, pigs, and domestic dogs and cats. Crows and pigeons have a limited ability to count. Parrots can imitate human speech, and mockingbirds have a vast repertory of the songs of other birds (they can mimic man-made sounds too) — but is doubtful whether either talent helps the birds in the wild.

According to the blog WorldMustBeCrazy the chimpanzee is the smartest. These animals can be found in the tropical forests and wet savannas of Western and Central Africa.

In the wild chimpanzees use sticks as weapons and as tools to extract termites from their burrows. In captivity they learn tricks readily, and they can reason well enough to pile up boxes in order to reach a high object, or to fit together sticks for the same purpose. Experimenters have even taught chimpanzees to communicate with them in sign language and recently, chimpanzees have been seen teaching sign language to their infants without human interference.

The Chimpanzee Genome Project, completed in 2005, showed that chimps share 98 percent of the same genetic DNA as humans.

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