How Could Animals Be Smarter Than Humans?

First Posted: Jan 28, 2017 03:39 AM EST

While humans are so convinced that they are the smartest of all species, a new book challenges that belief with its collection of instances proving animals are way smarter than they are thought to be.

Business Insider reported that in his book titled "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?" Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal listed some cases on how animals can be smarter than people. For instance, when it comes to the question of which species could handle the busiest brain activity at a certain time, humans can brag about having bigger brains than most animals, but an octopus, with its nine brains, nearly has 20 times more neurons than what people have.

According to de Waal, these tentacled species could actually learn how to open a childproof bottle than some people who could not even figure out how.

But aside from octopuses (or octopi for those who want it called that way), an article in the website Tree Hugger also shares some of de Waal's examples on how animals could beat humans in thinking.

Chimpanzees can recall a set of numbers flashed in less than a second faster, while dogs and horses are better at reading body language cues. Bats could, in fact, map out space through echolocation, while birds, although it is not surprising, can do better in calculating the complex mechanics of flight and landing.

Moreover, de Waal also mentioned in his book that "rats may regret their own decisions, that crows manufacture tools, that octopuses recognize human faces, and that special neurons allow monkeys to learn from each other's mistakes."

De Waal's whole point is that humans cannot just compare their brain's superiority to animals when a certain factor does not even help a certain species in their living.

"It seems highly unfair to ask if a squirrel can count to ten if counting is not really what a squirrel's life is about," he wrote. "The squirrel is very good at retrieving nuts, though, and .... we can't compete with squirrels and nutcrackers on this task."

"I even forget where I parked my car," he continued. "[It] is irrelevant, since our species does not need this kind of memory for survival the way forest animals braving a freezing winter do."

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