You have probably heard that certain animals are really smart, such as dolphins, dogs, pigs, and members of the great ape family (such as gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees). But have you ever wondered about penguins? In this article, we will be discussing the intelligence of these flightless birds!
Are penguins smart?
Penguins can show high levels of intelligence from a young age! King penguin chicks can find their way back to the colony from up to a mile away at only ten months old! They do this by using visual cues, such as hills and lakes, to guide themselves back home. So yes, penguins are smart.
With their black and white feathers creating the appearance of a suit and tie, Penguins always look sharp. But how sharp are they mentally?
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Believe it or not, scientists have recently discovered that penguins are pretty intelligent creatures! David Powell, the director of research at the St. Louis Zoo, created a series of experiments and tests to discover just how smart they are.
Obviously, these tests did not look into how much information these animals can memorize or if they can read (wouldn’t that be something?!). Instead, Powell and his team assessed the penguins in ways that are more important to these wild animals, such as navigation in their harsh Antarctic climate and the ability to hunt and catch prey.
Penguins have a great sense of direction and this shows intelligence because it shows that they have an excellent memory. Certain penguin subspecies, such as the chinstrap penguin and the Adelie penguin, are able to remember and find the same nesting spot year after year.
Their good memory also helps them to find their mate. You see, penguins are monogamous and mate with the same penguin for life. Even though all penguins in the pack look very similar (or even nearly identical), penguins can recognize their mate and even pinpoint their partner’s call from their pack of hundreds!
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In terms of hunting, penguins have evolved to hunt in packs. Due to this, penguins have evolved certain social skills that help them come up (as a group) to solve some complex problems! This way of hunting also requires penguins to develop rapid information processing, which is another skill that points to intelligence in animals.
Another thing that makes these animals intelligent, is that they are able to block out the extra background noise that they hear and focus on what they need to hear- which is a special skill that penguins share with humans.
Additionally, there have been some reports of penguins jumping into boats to get away from hungry orcas, which is a great survival skill that most wild animals would not think of!
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Plus, according to the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, goes as far as saying there are a bunch of things that penguins do even better than humans! While these fun skills that penguins have do not necessarily prove that penguins are highly intelligent, it does highlight how they have developed certain adaptations that just show they just are truly masters of their environment. Here are three things that penguins can do better than us humans:
– Walk around on an empty stomach (this is actually part of the reason that they waddle!)
– Seeing underwater clearly
– Communicate in a large crowd (while in general, penguins have a smaller range of hearing than humans do, penguins are better able to tell specific sound frequencies apart, which allows them to talk to their mate or chick across a large crowd of penguins!)
What is the average IQ of penguins?
For humans, intelligence is often measured in terms of IQ. So you may be wondering if we can measure the IQ of our feathery friends and what their IQ would be.
This answer is a bit tricky, because you cannot have a penguin (or any animal besides humans) sit down at a desk and take a written IQ test. But it is important to note that IQ tests for humans look at what is known as “general intelligence.” Scientists can look at general intelligence in animals for a general idea in how intelligent they are.
So while scientists do not score animals, such as penguins, on a traditional IQ Scale, they do look at the general intelligence of these creatures, and that is how it is determined how smart an animal is (for example, this is how scientists determined that penguins are intelligent).
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Are penguins the smartest birds in the world?
Intelligence in penguins has not been as well documented as it has been in some other birds. Parrots (which can be taught how to “talk” and repeat things) and various corvids (like ravens, crows, jays, and magpies) have been studied for their intelligence for many years. So it is hard to compare the intelligence of penguins (which has just begun to be studied) to these other birds.
But in general, scientists say that crows may be the most intelligent bird in the world! Even further, some experts think that crows may be the smartest animal in the entire world! This is because crows can solve problems, come up with creative solutions, and even consider the future! Plus, their brain-to-body weight ratio is equal to great apes and cetaceans (which include dolphins, whales, and porpoises).
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What are the smartest animals in the world?
Now that we have talked about intelligence in animals, specifically penguins, you may be wondering what the smartest animal in the world is. There is no animal that is always coined as the smartest in the world, but here is a list of the top ten smartest animals in the world, according to the Sunday Post:
1. Chimpanzees – Chimps can make tools to make tasks go quicker and they have been known to outsmart humans every now and then.
2. Pigs – Pigs are generally predicted to have the same amount of intelligence as a three-year-old child.
3. Bottlenose dolphins – These dolphins are self-aware, which means that they can recognize themselves in a mirror.
4. Parrots – These birds have been shown to be able to solve complex problems.
5. Whales – Whales have an extremely complex “language” that they use to communicate with each other.
6. Dogs – Man’s (and woman’s!) best friend come in sixth on this list, partially because they have been known to show advanced memory skills and can react appropriately to humans.
7. Octopuses – These eight-legged creatures are great at problem-solving.
8. Elephants – The saying that elephants never forget is true- they have great memories and can show empathy.
9. Squirrels – Probably the most surprising on this list, squirrels have great memories and they can always figure out how to get any
10. Cats – Cats have an amazing sensory ability, and that is why felines round up this top ten!