Ofcourse. It’s an undeniable truth!
We can take pride in being THE most intelligent species that exist. Humans will rule the world for ages to come. We do several things that only humans can do. (No, I wont mention the decline in intelligence and common sense in humans these days! That’s a different debate.)
But that does not undermine the intelligence of animals. I’ve been completely blown away by many stories of animal intelligence. Sometimes, to a large extent, these facts definitely question human intelligence.
Here are some of the strange yet interesting facts of animal intelligence.
1. Salmons – Every year, salmons from the ocean perform a heroic feat of migration through the river. They leap and swim and get battered and sometime get eaten by wild bears before they reach their destination. They endure all the hardship to lay eggs. For most salmon types, this is the final step in their life cycle. Ok, so what’s so special in this? A lot of birds migrate too, don’t they? Well I’ll come to that later in the post. But what makes this incredible is that, they reach the exact spot in the riverbanks where they were born. Sometimes this could be thousands of miles of upstream swimming. But they just know it!! Wonder how many people have thought about going back to the place where they were born. Hmmm….
2. Weaver birds – These birds are the most artistic of their species. They get their names from the way they weave their nests, very intricately. Why would they do this? Wouldn’t any nest be fit enough for just laying eggs? Well well, these male birds would go to any extent to woo their females. This seeming impossible task is achieved with just a beak. And we think that only humans are capable of creative thinking.
3. Crows – Every child’s must read is the Aesop’s fable. Life’s basic lessons are taught with simple stories of animals. One in particular, about the crow and the water pitcher, is very famous. Maybe these birds top the IQ list among birds. Crows build nests (not so artistic though!) that can withstand very strong winds. These birds are very social and know how to co-exist in a peaceful way. They are known to have a lot of social gatherings like group hunting, mourning for their dead pal etc. And here we are, trying to survive, in the midst of bombings and riots and wars! Humans need to grow up.
4. Sharks – Yes yes, I am talking about the well-known killer fish. They are fearsome and ruthless when it comes to hunting. But they have excellent parenting skills and employ different techniques to teach their young one to hunt. Sharks are lauded for their problem solving skills. I was watching a video clip the other day where sharks were trying to hunt a lonely sea-lion that was sitting precariously on a solid ice block. It was immediately clear that the sea-lion has no chance of escaping. After several attempts the sea-lion lost the battle. But what took the sharks so long to go for the kill? Finally it was revealed that the adult sharks were teaching a young one how to hunt. Not only did they teach but also rewarded the little one with the sea-lion after it learnt the right way to hunt. We have a lot to learn from the sharks about 1) Parenting 2) Rewarding and 3) Solving problems.
5. Migratory birds – Migratory birds have the uncanny ability to track the same flight path and reach the same site, every time every year. This is not about flying a few miles. It’s about flying thousands and thousands AND THOUSANDS of miles to reach their place. Some birds, despite their long journey and numerous stopovers, remain faithful to their partners. They live and die together. And, omg, I am so poor with directions and can’t seem to remember the route. I am sure, many people out there are so dependent on their iPhone maps and GPS to navigate.
6. Chimps – The closest to humans, in intelligence. These animals are known to craft tools to get food. These device techniques that can be used in future to kill their prey. Hmmm…Futuristic thinking!!
This is just a partial list of animals with high intelligence levels. I haven’t even touched upon the facts about dogs, cats, parrots, elephants, dolphins, bees, ants… and I wont be able to finish the list too. There are so many more facts that can completely wow us.
Maybe its time we throw away our human egos and give animals the due respect. The respect they deserve!!
Do you know other interesting facts about animals? Feel free to share in the space below. I’d be very interested to know them.