Newsflash to humans: we are not always the best and the brightest at everything. Yep, there are plenty of other members of the animal kingdom out there with stronger senses, speedier travel time and, yes, better memories. Click through to check out some of the most impressive animal minds on the planet.
They may not look particularly threatening, but ravens are one animal you really don’t want to annoy. That’s because, amazingly enough, ravens actually remember your face and your voice — and connect it to any prior interactions. The birds actually change their calls based on whether you’re a friend or an enemy — If you’re the latter, their call will be lower and rougher. Happening upon a stranger raven? Expect an even less friendly call.
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Nobody can hold a grudge like an elephant. The animals live in close-knit social groups, and are able to identify at least 30 of their relatives. Their incredible capacity to remember also plays into the fact that, well, few animals can hold a grudge quite like elephants. One study that looked at a herd of African elephants found that the animals reacted negatively to the scents of a nearby tribe whose members sometimes slaughter them. Elephants have also been known to remember human abusers several years afterward. More recently, a herd of Indian elephants refused to leave the site where one of their members was struck and killed by a train, damaging several structures along the way.
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By many measures, dolphins are one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet, and they are certainly no slouch in the memory department. Dolphins have been shown to recognize old friends after decades of separation. They even have something akin to names — a whistle unique to each animal!
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Many horse lovers have long claimed that their old pals remember them after years of separation, and, now there’s the science to back up these claims. Like dolphins and elephants, wild horses live in tight-knit communities, and thus benefit from having a strong capacity for remembering others. Horses in captivity experience, research has shown, a similar relationship with humans. After long periods of separation, horses will remember their human pal.
There are many, many ways to demonstrate the intelligence and memory of chimps. but this one has to be the funniest: Chimps actually remember how much (or how little) members of their troop have groomed them, and dole out their grooming accordingly. Whether you’re selfish or selfless, chances are, a chimp will remember.