Everyone is always talking about AI these days. I can only assume that it stands for Animal Intelligence… Which is what led me to today’s big question: “What’s the smartest animal in the world?” Sharpen your ears and your pencils, listeners – we’re about to take an Animal Intelligence test.

Can a chimpanzee do math? How good is an octopus at scouting? Can pigeons really count?

Today Emma is hosting an investigative test to see what animals could enter Earth Rangers University. All they need to do is pass an Animal Aptitude Test. It’s not like SATs for us humans, or is it? How exactly can Emma measure an animal’s intelligence?

Most animals on earth are very different from humans. We’ve learnt to read, write, speak in many different languages, do math, and build structures across the lands and in space. What about the other creatures? Aside from us, is there any who can outsmart a person or rival human intelligence?


What’s the smartest animal in the world?

Measuring intelligence isn’t as easy as it may seem. Some might consider math and reading to be a mark of “intelligence” – but people who are musically or artistically talented can be just as intelligent as someone great at science! Intelligence comes in different forms: Emotional intelligence, logic, memory, pattern recognition, and problem-solving. Not being good at something doesn’t make you stupid!

So, how would we measure an animal’s intelligence? They can’t possibly fill a test sheet for biology, math, or English?!

This is why Emma is trying an Animal Aptitude Test using different techniques like “escape a tank”, “travel a maze”, and “counting” to measure how good an animal’s problem-solving, memory, and navigation skills are. Many can complete these quite quickly in fact! Faster than a human could.  

Of the potential students, we see a chimpanzee, octopus, pigeon, rat, pig and even a bee take these tests! How well do they do? Can all of them succeed and does this mean they’re all intelligent? Why not vote on your favorite one in the poll below?

Now, there’s a last criterion of intelligence not counted in the above aptitude test: Behavioural adaptations! This is what allows animals to communicate, forage, and survive in harsh environments. Sure, we might not count survival as a form of intelligence for people – but street smart counts!

So Earth Rangers, next time you are faced with the SATs, remember that there’s more than just the math and reading that’s tested to measure one’s intelligence. You’re all brilliant in different ways, and that’s what makes the world a better place! 

Do you have a fun animal mystery you want us to explore? Let us know in the comments!