What is the Smartest Animal on Planet Earth?

My tablet, my tablet can you recall, what animal is the smartest one of all?

We tend to think of humans as being the most intelligent of all in the animal

kingdom, but there are others that are just as smart. We always hear about

the chimpanzees and the rats, but what about the other animals? 

Some animals live in the ocean, some fly in the air, and some walk with us

across the land… just what is animal intelligence? According to

Zooportraits.com:

We can define animal intelligence as the combination of skills and abilities that allow animals to live in and adapt to their specific environments.

They have found ways to change their habits and behaviors to adapt to the

Earth changes for millions of years!

Some animal species have been forming social groups long before humans

discovered Facebook, Instagram and other social media. Let’s look at a few

of the smartest animals on Earth!

Octopuses

The world’s smartest invertebrates, animals without skeletons, are

octopuses.

Octopuses should be smart…. They have eight legs and NINE brains!!! They

have more to work with than most of the other animals. Octopuses can

protect themselves by pretending to be other animals. They have also l

earned to use tools to survive. 

Octopuses can carry out complex tasks, such as opening a jar to get to its contents. Not only do they have a good short and long term memory but also a remarkable ability to learn new skills from the moment they’re born. For example, the mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) is able toimpersonate other species in order to protect itself from predators. Well, at least a female giant Pacific octopus named Billye can. Biologists at the Seattle Aquarium put Billye’s strength and smarts to the test with a bottle-opening challenge. The clever cephalopod was able to unlock the top and access her snack in five minutes. Perhaps that’s unsurprising for a creature known to open clam shells and other stubborn-shelled mollusks without a shucking knife. [The 5 Smartest Non-Primates on the Planet] Yes, like chimpanzees, dolphins and crows, octopuses are among the special set of intelligent animals that have been observed using tools. In 2009, scientists reported they had watched veined octopuses (Amphioctopus marginatus) picking up discarded coconut shells and using them like mobile homes.

Whales and Dolphins

The largest brained animals of the ocean are the whales and dolphins. They

are also considered some of the smartest oceanic animals alive.

Whales and dolphins have large brains; brainy dolphins have a brain to

body ratio second only to humans. Large-brained creatures generally have

a few things in common: they live long lives; 

they are sociable; their behaviour is complicated

Elephants

The largest brained animals on land are elephants. I know you have heard

that an elephant never forgets! There are other things elephants can do too!

Elephants are large animals with big brains. They are considered smart for several reasons: they break off sticks with their trunks, have incredible memories, and seem to be capable of empathy.  Elephants also work together to solve puzzles, according to researcher Joshua Plotnik from the University of Cambridge in England. In one experiment, two elephants had to drag ropes attached on either side to a table holding two food bowls. This required cooperation because only one elephant pulling wasn’t enough. 

Ducks, Parrots, Ravens and Crows

Now let’s look at some of our friends that fly! They have to be smart also, so

they don’t get lost. The sky is large you know!

This isn’t some quack of an inclusion. Ducklings imprint on their mothers, but scientists were curious about how the ducklings managed to differentiate between imprinted beings and non-imprinted. They put ducklings in an enclosure and trailed two different pairs of objects around on strings, one matching pair of shapes (like two spheres) and one pair of non-matching shapes (like a cylinder and a cube). After the duckling showed a tendency toward set, the researchers put the ducklings in a different enclosure with different matching and non-matching pairs. The ducklings would follow after whatever set best resembled their original imprint. So, if they followed the two spheres in the first enclosure, they would follow a set of matching cubes in the second enclosure. This tendency, according to researchers interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor, has only been seen in primates, crows and parrots before, indicating that ducks may be smarter than we’ve thought.

We all know parrots can reproduce sounds of the English language (or other languages). But some even have an understanding of the meaning of these words.   The most impressive example of this ability is Alex, an African Grey parrot, who knew colors and shapes and learned more than 100 English words. He was trained by Irene Pepperberg, a comparative psychologist at Brandeis University and Harvard.  Before Pepperberg’s groundbreaking work with Alex, “scientists had little expectation that any bird could learn to communicate with humans,” the New York Times wrote in 2007, following Alex’s death.

Ravens are more than the subject of dark themes by writer Edgar Allan Poe. They are also extremely resourceful animals that have been known to multi-task. Researchers from Canada and Scotland have shown that ravens use logic to understand their surroundings in a way that may surpass the ability of the great apes. The crow, a close cousin to the raven, is also an extremely smart bird.

Morell notes in an article for National Geographic: “New Caledonian crows are among the most skilled of tool-making and tool-using birds, forming probes and hooks from sticks and leaf stems to poke into the crowns of the palm trees.”

Pigs

This gives you a whole different way of looking at these animals! Would you

care to play a game against a pig?

Pigs are highly adaptable mammals with a keen ability to learn new skills. In fact, some studies suggest that an adult pig may have a level of intelligence comparable to that of a three year old child! This would make them far smarter than other domestic animals, such as dogs and cats.

The New York Times reports on researchers who have found that domestic pigs can use mirrors to find their food, and will try to deceive other pigs so they can “hog” more food. They also learn quickly and can do tricks ranging from jumping through hoops to playing video games with joysticks.

Bees

Entomologists, scientists who study insects, have been studying bees for

hundreds of years have found that most hives are 95% female bees! 

“These are, high, high, highly intelligent creatures,” said conservation biologist Reese Halter.1   Halter was speaking of the fascinating bee. Bees are already famous regarding their ability to communicate with other bees through complex dancing routines. Halter’s team also found that bees have puzzle-solving abilities. In 2006, scientists were amazed to discover that bees have a biological clock. They described it as, “An endogenous, physiological mechanism, whose exact nature has not been determined, that keeps time independently of external events.”It is actually more similar to humans than to insects. 

Bees continue to astound scientists when tested for cognitive abilities in the lab.  For example, the bees can learn to slide or lift caps, then subsequently push balls of escalating weight to access the reward. When the researchers put the bees who knew how to solve the puzzle in a hive with naïve bees, they somehow went on to communicate the solution to their unlearned kinfolk.6   Entomologists recently discovered that bees have a capacity to discriminate numbers. “Honeybees can identify a piece of paper with zero dots as ‘less than’ a paper with a few dots.”7 It has always been assumed that what separates man from the animal world (among other things) is an understanding of the abstract concept of “zero.” But Howard and his team have now shown that untrained honey bees have an understanding of an “empty set.” The authors stated, “Bees demonstrated an understanding that parallels animals such as the African grey parrot, nonhuman primates, and even preschool children.”    Loukola and his team concluded that the learning ability of bees is extraordinary. Such unprecedented cognitive flexibility hints that entirely novel behaviors could emerge relatively swiftly in species whose lifestyle demands advanced learning abilities, should relevant ecological pressures arise.8

What an example of Girl Power!

Dogs

We can’t forget some of our best friends!

“In many ways dogs may be more human-like than any other species, even non-human primates,” researchers wrote in a 2008 dog intelligence study published in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. In a separate study, Brian Hare, an expert in canine cognition, showed that dogs can follow and respond to human gestures, like pointing and eye movements, without training. This so-called “theory of mind” ability “is so important to our species,” writes Slate’s David Grimm, “that without it, we would have trouble learning and interacting with the world around us.”   One the smartest dogs in the world (or at least with the most impressive vocabulary) is a border collie named Rico. Rico knows the name to more than 200 items — he can retrieve the object from a jumble of stuff after hearing the name only once. (Rico also took third prize in De Waal’s “Animal Noble Prizes”) Another dog, Chaser, knows more than 1,000 objects and can understand English grammar. She isn’t the first animal to have a basic understanding of grammar. Studies published in the journal Cognition in 1984 indicated that dolphins can also grasp elements of grammar. 

So maybe this is why they are used as service animals for us.

My tablet, my tablet now sitting on my lap,

Thank you my tablet with your Internet and Google too! 

Now we can be a little smarter than we were when we started!

 We can name other smart animals on the land, in the air and in the oceans

and learn more about them as we grow.

 This has been some good information to begin to know!

Omen Teaches It: The Insect World

You may be boys or you may be girls. You may call us bugs or pests, but most of us are insects. By the time you finish reading what we have to tell, you may look at insects in a positive light and posibly consider adopting one as a family pet!

We prefer to be called insects, not bugs and definitely not pests! Insects have segmented bodies, six legs and external skeletons. True bugs, and there are a few, suck juices from plants using stylets which are strawmouths or probosces (or proboscis for just one).

There are more insects in the world than bugs and people too! There are about 200 million of us for every one of you.

My name is Omen. I know, that’s Nemo spelled backwards and I know where I am. I am a Chinavia hilaris, what you commonly call a green stink bug. https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/485010-Chinavia-hilaris

By the way, you stink to most of us too!

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A102d2a5e-8508-48d2-91ef-4efe83da0496

I have been chosen by all insects and bugs to educate humans on what we are really about. No conspiracies, rumors, tall-tales or half-truths. I’m here to give you some of the facts about us.

We the insects have been here on earth approximately 479 million years. We have been here before the dinosaurs! I bet you think we’re older than dirt. The oldest insect that still exists today lives in the dirt and it is the termite queen. Our current representative for the termite queen is my friend Kubaba. She can tell you that her family is very strong and has survived all of the changes that have happened on earth. Again, you considet termites as pests, but termites are like nature’s lumberjacks. Termites take down dead trees and eat them making fertilizer and mulch for the soil and clear the land for more plants and trees. Kubaba and other termite queens can live to be 60 years old. She and her family have been through, ice, snow, floods, fires and humans building and cutting trees for farming EVERYWHERE! You call them pests, but they usually stay close to where their homes have always been and that is…..where you put your house, barn, or building! Remember, they were in the forest, woods and rainforests first. https://www.si.edu/spotlight/buginfo/incredbugs

The most common insects on earth are ants, like my friend Eon. There are 10 to 100,000 trillion ants globally, with more than 10,000 different families called species. Ants can carry 10 to 50 times their own body weight. The amount that they can carry depends upon the species. The Asian weaver ant can lift 100 times its own body weight. You could think of it as the superhero of the insects because of its strength. https://www.westernexterminator.com/ants/10-interesting-facts-ants/

The longest living insect today is the ant. The black garden ant has a lifespan of 15 to 30 years. https://antark.net/ant-facts/ants-live-30-years/

The shortest living insect is the Mayfly. It lives for 24 hours. https://io9.gizmodo.com/mayflies-might-just-have-the-saddest-most-perfectly-ev-5815582

The rarest insect, and yes it is an endangered species, is the land lobster, scientifically known as Drycocelus australis. They have been driven from Lord Howe Island several hundred miles east of Australia, to Bali’s Pyramid Island 14 miles away. https://ansp.org/exhibits/online-exhibits/stories/the-worlds-rarest-insect/

The smallest insect is the Fairyfly at only 0.007 to 0.039 inches or  0.5 to 1.8 mm long. You might need a magnifying glass to see one of them. https://animals.mom.me/fun-fairy-fly-4190.html

The heaviest insect is the giant weta, another buddy of mine, Waymore, weighing in at 2.5 ounces. He weighs more than a mouse. https://www.grownups.co.nz/interests/entertainment/quick-facts-giant-weta/

The South American longhorn beetles are 6 inches long, but the walking stick insects have them beat as the longest insects in the world! Scientifically known as Phobaeticus serratipes, they are 2.5 feet long as you can see by my friend Feefifocus.

We have patiently watched and helped humans grow. We have been with you through your phases of fear of us, curiosity, admiration, love and hate. We have listened to your secrets and famous speeches, and marched with you during your wars. We have protected your plants, created food and beauty in your gardens. We have been your pets and best friends and your worst enemies too. We carried a few diseases that spread to you due to your lack of cleanliness and control. You have tried to eliminate us many times over thousands of years, but we think you are beginning to understand that we help you more than we hurt you and we are your friends! So before you stomp, swat, and spray poison on us, please try not to forget that we are EVERYWHERE and have been here since the beginning and we are your friends to the END!