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Which is the most 'intelligent' animal, in your opinion?

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Without a doubt it is the Google search engine

 

Actually many computer hackers use Google because it is such a robust in design and powerful search engine. Many times knowing computers alone along with Google query can reveal ways to hack on some particular source.

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Among non-human animals, I would say chimps. I am limiting myself to our (humans') standards of measuring how intelligent an animal is based on life, strategies, skills, self-sufficiency, activities and maybe social behavior.

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The question is semantic and pointless. If you want to know "which animal makes the best little human" which is what is usually meant by these inquiries, it would probably be a member of the Pan genus, but I’m really not sure how useful that is ultimately.

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Humans, duh... that's a total no-brainer.

 

If you mean the most intelligent non-human animal, then the chimpanzee

I don't know; I've met quite a few humans and first impresion is that alot of them are fairly stupid, I'm voting for some other animal. Only because I havn't had a conversation with any that have confirmed any level of stupidity.:D

[Aside: This is an attempt at a joke I am open to criticisum. I am also open to spelling citicisum.]

If you want to know "which animal makes the best little human" which is what is usually meant by these inquiries,

Quite right if we were to try to define intelligence based on more than just what makes a human intelligent I'm sure we would find plenty of creatures that either rival or exceed our own.

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It's honey bees.

 

If you consider a hive to be a single animal, which it kinda is as only the queen is fertile.

 

Otherwise it's mice isn't it?

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It's honey bees.

 

If you consider a hive to be a single animal, which it kinda is as only the queen is fertile.

 

How is a hive of bees smarter than a human?

 

Otherwise it's mice isn't it?

 

Yes, traditionally it's mice, then dolphins, then humans. But mice aren't native to Earth, and if we're going to include extraterrestrials, the question becomes almost impossible. Also, since the Earth itself is actually Deep Thought II, the most advanced computer ever created, isn't that rather the obvious answer? Or does that not count as an "animal?"

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Well...i'd have to diverge off of the path that most here have taken with mammals. I'd have to say ants are the most "intellegent". Complex social structure, great sense of direction, and extreme survivabilty would suggest that they may be slightly more fitted to different ecosystems than mammals. Ants, since evolving from wasps in the mid-cretaceous, seem adaptable enough to survive mass extinctions...as many other species cannot say. Maybe after we've gone and blow ourselves up and what not, ants may relight the biological fire that is our planet, considering how useful they are to any ecosystem, providing ample symbiosis with other plants and animals. They act as nature's farmer, spreading seeds from area to area. But this goes along with the ecological impact that they have. To not digress too much...ant society has shaped some of the most rudementary computer networking techniques that we use today. The ability for ants to think as a whole, in my honest opinion, makes them almost the smartest animal on Earth...next to humans....maybe.

 

Great logic. The question is not only one of definition of 'intelligence' but what constitutes the individual? Is it....the gene..the organism...the collective ant society?

 

One comment: ants are a family and species of ants and others of the order have suffered extinctions, etc. All phyla and most classes in those phyla have survived mass extinctions since the Cambrian. Arthropods (ants) and still around but so are many chordates (primates). Extinction of individual species, genera, etc. are probably no less common in ants than other taxa.

 

Ants , the octopus, etc. are not the equivalent of 'man' but of a broad concept as 'primate and related orders of mammals'.

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I see no reason not to consider an ant colony as one "individual" with a "hive intelligence." However, I can see no possible justification for ranking them more intelligent than humans. I can easily understand all the activities of an ant colony. The reciprocal is absurd. The only edge an ant colony might have would be at "multi-tasking," which scales with the size of the colony without limit. But since the colony's "nervous system" relies on trails of pheremones and individual ants regurgitating at each other and whatnot, the coordination of those tasks is, if superior to a human's, at least not by very much.

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I see no reason not to consider an ant colony as one "individual" with a "hive intelligence." However, I can see no possible justification for ranking them more intelligent than humans. I can easily understand all the activities of an ant colony. The reciprocal is absurd. The only edge an ant colony might have would be at "multi-tasking," which scales with the size of the colony without limit. But since the colony's "nervous system" relies on trails of pheremones and individual ants regurgitating at each other and whatnot, the coordination of those tasks is, if superior to a human's, at least not by very much.

 

I agree, it has to do with the semantics of it all. I mean if we just take natural selection into account the reality is single celled life might be the most intelligent, or slimy things in a cave somewhere possibly just looking at the ability to adapt or persist really. In terms of nothing more then the ability to manipulate, well then humans are the winner.

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How is a hive of bees smarter than a human?

 

Well, non-human animal. But actually, as has already been pointed out, what do we mean by intelligence? Humans are very very good at some things, but destroying the very ecosystems that supports us - and knowing that we are doing it but not changing behaviour - isn't very intelligent at all! C/f Easter Island! The bees may out live us yet!

 

Good point about mice being extra-terrestrial. Forgot about that!

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Can I point out that the O/P did not ask what animals are "more intelligent than humans".

 

Also I don't think it is at all helpful to call his question "semantic and pointless", unless you are going to propose an alternative form.

 

The O/P is clearly looking for examples of the most remarked-upon intelligent behaviour in the animal kingdom, and he has given several criteria by which this might be measured. I am sure he is not naive enough to expect a single animal that fulfils them all.

 

Since this is a thread in a "proper science" forum, could we please stick to answering the O/P.

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hi all. i am saadi. i want a answer.. i need to know the name of 10 animal(only in the mamal species) which are thought intelligent after human..give me the name serial by plzz .. this is urgent......

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Hi.

Unsure if this is the best place for the subject, but, which animal shows the most 'intelligent' behavior ? (life, strategies, skills, self-sufficiency, activities... at its animal level)

Miguel

 

Define "at its animal level".

 

Obviously any extant species (plant and animal) exhibit "life" (otherwise they would not be alive), strategies, skills, activities "at their level". IOW, in their ecological niche.

 

If they did not, they would be extinct thru competition for that niche. So when you added "at its animal level" you pretty much negated any comparison between species. Natural selection -- an unintelligent process -- is going to design the species to fit its ecological niche, which includes all the things you included as comprising "intelligence".

 

Very few species, and certainly no species of animals, is "self-sufficient". All animals require at least the existence of plants to convert sunlight to glucose. Most require all the other species in their ecosystem. Land dwelling multicellular plants require, at least, the action of more primitive plants to prepare soil. Many require animals for fertilization. I suppose blue-green algae would come closest to "self-sufficient" since they take sunlight and the minerals dissolved in seawater and make all the chemicals they need. However, I don't think blue green algae are going to fit the intuitive sense we have of being "intelligent".

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I dunno. I agree completely there's no absolute criteria, but surely some comparison is possible. There are generalist species which can thrive in multiple niches and survive in lots of different ways (like raccoons), and there are hyper-pigeonholed species that aren't even terribly efficient in their own niche (like pandas). Come to think of it, how the hell aren't pandas extinct, anyway?

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Clearly, it is dolphins. They are very bright animals and their entire lives are spent in play. Humans are not the most intelligent animal. What is intelligent about destroying the planet in record time. Plus, we are constantly at war. What is intelligent about that? Plus, we work harder than any other mammal on the planet, and spend less time at play. I would say dolphins are a little brighter.

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Clearly, it is dolphins. They are very bright animals and their entire lives are spent in play.

 

Actually, I think you will find that most of their lives are spent trying to find food. This is pretty much the case with all animals.

 

Humans are not the most intelligent animal. What is intelligent about destroying the planet in record time. Plus, we are constantly at war. What is intelligent about that? Plus, we work harder than any other mammal on the planet, and spend less time at play. I would say dolphins are a little brighter.

 

Your definition of "intelligence" is apparently "do no work but play". I question the "we are constantly at war." I for one am 55 years old and have NEVER been "at war." I doubt you have ever been "at war" either. If you look at history you will find that most people are never at war or, if they are, that the war occupied a very small percentage of their lifespan.

 

And, if you look, the reason humans engage in war is very practical: war is profitable. In some circumstances it is even essential for survival. For instance, in a situation of extreme drought where there is not enough food to sustain the population of 2 villages, if one village wages successful war against the other, it gains enough food so that the villagers survive. So, by one criteria for "intelligence" -- survival -- war is very intelligent under some circumstances.

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I dunno. I agree completely there's no absolute criteria, but surely some comparison is possible. There are generalist species which can thrive in multiple niches and survive in lots of different ways (like raccoons), and there are hyper-pigeonholed species that aren't even terribly efficient in their own niche (like pandas). Come to think of it, how the hell aren't pandas extinct, anyway?

 

1. Is being a generalist or a specialist the same as being "intelligent"? After all, both the generalist and specialist are designed by natural selection. Doesn't "intelligence" require some volition and choice on the part of the entity that is "intelligent"? Since neither the generalist nor specialist species had any volition in its evolution, how can you say that one is "intelligent" and the other not? All you can say is that one has a greater chance of surviving if the environment changes.

 

2. Pandas are indeed "efficient" in their niche. After all, they efficiently make use of their main food source -- bamboo -- and they efficiently mate to produce offspring. No one ever heard of a panda starving to death in the wild. Now, if their habitat is destroyed by another species (such as humans), you can argue that pandas are not capable of exploiting or surviving in the changed environment. But the same can be said of human beings. If an asteroid the size of Texas hits the planet, then humans could not survive in the suddenly changed environment either. Thermophilic bacteria deep underground would survive, but would anyone say bacteria are "intelligent"?

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Actually, I think you will find that most of their lives are spent trying to find food. This is pretty much the case with all animals.

Why do you devalue the process of finding food. Every living thing has to find food. That is probably the smartest thing you can do. I'm willing to bet that a dolphin is better at finding food than you would be if someone wasn't finding food for you. Human's work 8 hours a day, 8 hours a day to put food on their table. Sometimes more. How many hours a day do you think a dolphin spends finding dinner?

 

Your definition of "intelligence" is apparently "do no work but play". I question the "we are constantly at war." I for one am 55 years old and have NEVER been "at war." I doubt you have ever been "at war" either. If you look at history you will find that most people are never at war or, if they are, that the war occupied a very small percentage of their lifespan.

Are you an American citizen? Then I have news for you. You are at war right now and have been ever since I was born 26 years ago. The only reason your city hasn't been bombed is because the people we've fought haven't had the means to fight back. You'd better believe you're at war. Just give them a fair fight and you'll see. Humans are warmongers. How can you even argue that?

 

Play is the human definition of a good life. If we were intelligent, we would seek to maximize our time at play. Instead, we do the opposite, even with all of the technology that has increased our productivity.

 

And, if you look, the reason humans engage in war is very practical: war is profitable. In some circumstances it is even essential for survival. For instance, in a situation of extreme drought where there is not enough food to sustain the population of 2 villages, if one village wages successful war against the other, it gains enough food so that the villagers survive. So, by one criteria for "intelligence" -- survival -- war is very intelligent under some circumstances.

Humans aren't very good at planning ahead. Had we been, the first thing we would have done is try to stop our population growth. If there were 1 billion people on the entire planet, we wouldn't even be worrying about global warming. Some individuals are good at planning ahead. Perhaps you are one of them. Back in the time of the Romans, there was PLENTY of land, water, and resources for every person on the planet. People weren't fighting for water or to survive. Still, even then, people were constantly at war. We fight amongst our own species more than any other mammal, and certainly more than dolphins.

 

I'm not saying that a dolphin can solve a math problem or have an intelligent conversation with you. I'm not saying that they are perfect. They are brilliant animals and are more intelligent than humans in the things that really matter.

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Humans are not the most intelligent animal. What is intelligent about destroying the planet in record time.

 

The fact we have the intelligence to do it in the first place

 

Plus, we are constantly at war.

 

And because of it we are more powerful than any other animal on the planet

 

What is intelligent about that?

 

Being smart enough to be there in the first place

 

Plus, we work harder than any other mammal on the planet, and spend less time at play. I would say dolphins are a little brighter.

 

Ever heard the phrase "Ignorance is bliss?"

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Ever heard the phrase "Ignorance is bliss?"

 

lol that one could go either way. We are so obsessed in find all the answers when really it's all trivial in the end.

 

but yeah we dont have to be amazingly intelligent to be the most intelligent creature. I think too though mass destruction of ourselves show more intelligence in a specific way, if you truly feel humans do no good.

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Why do you devalue the process of finding food.

 

I don't. I am disputing the factuality of your statement "They are very bright animals and their entire lives are spent in play." Dolphins do NOT spend their entire lives in play.

 

That is probably the smartest thing you can do.

 

But you didn't list that as a criteria for intelligence to begin with, did you? You said dolphins were intelligent because they played. Now you are changing the criteria.

 

Natureboy, that is not a good scientific thing to do. You are starting with a conclusion: dolphins are the most intelligent animal. Then you are looking for rationalizations of that conclusion.

 

Instead, what you want to do is start by asking: what constitutes intelligence and how do we compare intelligence? Set your criteria first and then look to see which animal most closely meets those criteria. maybe dolphins are the ones that best meet the criteria, maybe they aren't.

 

What I did was look at your criteria and then looked to see if dolphins really met the criteria. Your criteria was "play all the time". OK, that is your criteria for being "intelligent". So, do dolphins really play all the time? Nope.

 

Human's work 8 hours a day, 8 hours a day to put food on their table. Sometimes more. How many hours a day do you think a dolphin spends finding dinner?

 

More than that. Humans today work less for their material wealth than at any time in history. This is due to our technology. Go back even 50 years and look at the hours farmers put in. After all, they are the ones getting food primarily -- growing it themselves. My great-uncles routinely worked 12-14 hour days seven days a week. OK, they were producing food not only for themselves but for lots of other people. Perhaps if they didn't have to produce the extra food they could have worked less. But go back to the farmers in the 1770s. They were pretty self-reliant and produced only for themselves. They also made their own clothes and many of their own tools and built their own houses. How long did they work? At least 12-14 hours a day! Actually longer, since even when "resting" in the evening they were repairing tools and mending clothes.

 

You are at war right now and have been ever since I was born 26 years ago.

 

No, I am not at war. The country I live in is at war. A very small percentage of the citizens are involved in that war. The rest of us have nothing to do with it. We are at peace. No combat at all.

 

That's the point you are missing: you are equating the country with the individual. On an individual basis, humans are NOT warlike. Even tho there is A war going on somewhere in the world all the time, very few people are actually at war.

 

Play is the human definition of a good life.

 

Why? Says who? You put this out there as "fact", but your own data refute this: we don't maximize our time at play. Again, it looks like you are doing things backwards. The question should be: what is the human definition of a "good life"? Based on what humans actually DO, the definition of a "good" life is that we work. This is what we empirically consider "good" because we make the conscious choice to do it.

 

What you have done is start from your conclusion: play is good. Then you look around and see that people don't play. Rather than change your conclusion, you say we aren't "intelligent" because we don't fit your conclusion.

 

Back in the time of the Romans, there was PLENTY of land, water, and resources for every person on the planet. People weren't fighting for water or to survive.

 

Again, I dispute the factual basis of this statement. Based on their technology, no, there wasn't enough land, water, or resources for people to survive. The reason the "barbarians" overran the Roman Empire was that they had more people than their resources could support. It was either fight and conqueor the Romans or starve. What you have overlooked is that technology expands resources.

 

We fight amongst our own species more than any other mammal, and certainly more than dolphins.

 

Have you considered that humans do this because we really don't have any competition from OTHER species? For most species, the "fights" are either against the environment itself or against other species. For instance, cacti are "fighting" the lack of rain in the desert. Maple saplings in the forest are fighting other saplings for water, sunlight, and soil. Dolphins are fighting sharks. However, humans can manipulate their environment and we are so technologically superior to every other species that there is no competition with them for resources. So ... the competition is between human tribes for scarce resources.

 

They are brilliant animals and are more intelligent than humans in the things that really matter.

 

Define "brilliant". As you noted, in two categories of "brilliance" -- math and conversation -- you admit dolphins are not. So what do you mean by "brilliant"? Also, you have stated "in the things that really matter". This means that you are not using an objective criteria for "intelligent" but rather a judgement call that you are making. What you consider "really matter". So why should we accept your judgement here? What makes your judgement of what "really matter" superior to the judgement of anyone else?

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Humans aren't very good at planning ahead.

 

That doesn't even address my point, much less contradict it. My point was that war was profitable and, in some circumstance, was very "intelligent" because it was led to survival.

 

Had we been, the first thing we would have done is try to stop our population growth.

 

You do realize that this goes against natural selection, don't you? Any tendency to limit reproduction is going to be selected against because it will result in fewer offspring than those who don't limit reproduction!

 

Back in the time of the Romans, there was PLENTY of land, water, and resources for every person on the planet. People weren't fighting for water or to survive.

 

Yes, they were. And it illustrates my point about the "intelligence" of war. The Vandals were starving. Invading Rome and taking their food and wealth kept them alive. For the Vandals, war was the "intelligent" thing to do. Just as making "war" on sharks is the "intelligent" thing for dolphins to do. Otherwise, sharks eat dolphins.

 

Dolphins cooperate with the other dolphins in their pod to deal with sharks. Humans cooperate with the other humans in their tribe to deal with other tribes. Sounds pretty much the same to me.

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Ever heard the phrase "Ignorance is bliss?"

 

Maybe we are ignorant regarding a fact that animals have already learned. "We don't need to be all knowing to be happy."

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Maybe we are ignorant regarding a fact that animals have already learned. "We don't need to be all knowing to be happy."

 

This whole discussion is sopping with anthropomorphism. Animals haven't 'learned' anything of the kind. The whole kingdom minus humans didn't try out big brains for a while and then decide "Eh, this isn't really for us. Too much stress."

 

Animals aren't 'smart' like humans are but that doesn't mean they don't have unique mental abilities. Think of the mental acumen it takes to coordinate eight tentacles at once, or to navigate a maze of vines and branches to find a favorite fruit tree. No gibbon could write the Odyssey, no gibbon could write at all, but really who cares? Certainly not the gibbon.

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