Geniuses in the Animal Kingdom: The 13 Most Intelligent and Smartest Animals in the World With the Highest IQ

Knoji reviews products and up-and-coming brands we think you'll love. In certain cases, we may receive a commission from brands mentioned in our guides. Learn more.
The most intelligent persons in the world are categorized as “genius”. Among the most notable geniuses in the world include Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart, Plato, Leonardo Da Vinci, Confucius, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Rene Descartes, Galileo Galilei

The most intelligent persons in the world are categorized as “genius”. Among the most notable geniuses in the world include Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart, Plato, Leonardo Da Vinci, Confucius, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Rene Descartes, Galileo Galilei and many others. In the animal world, excluding human beings, there are also animal species that can be considered geniuses such as dogs, parrots, horses, apes, dolphins, chimps and some other mammals. For instance, it’s quite unbelievable but rhesus monkeys can count and elephants have been known to perform simple arithmetic. It has been discovered in 2007 that chimpanzees in the Fongoli savannah that they sharpen sticks to use as spears when hunting – the first and very clear evidence of systematic use of weapons in a species other than humans


1. Rico

Image Source

Border Collies are regarded as the most intelligent dog breed in the world. One manifestation that this dog breed is truly the most intelligent breed is Rico, a Border Collie who was known to understand more than 280 words. He was born in December 1994 and died in 2008 at the age of 14. This fantastic dog retrieved an average of 37 out of 40 items correctly. Not only could Rico correctly retrieve the object, he also responded correctly to the name of the new object, presumably using a process of elimination.

2. Mishka

Image Source

Another phenomenal dog is Mishka, an internet sensation. This talking Husky was trained to say phrases such as hello, no and I love you. Mishka, a female dog, can also sing with the help of Auto Tune.

3. Chaser

Image Source

Another exceptionally intelligent dog is Chaser, a female Border Collie. As of 2010, this amazing dog has a vocabulary of 1022 words. She has the largest tested memory of any animal and is also able to recognize objects by the groups they belong to. Chaser can identify 1,022 toys by their name and retrieve them.


4. Koko

Image Source

Koko is a gorilla who was born in 1971 at San Francisco Zoo. She is an exceptional gorilla because she learned sign language. Koko is able to understand over 1,000 signs based on ASL or American Sign Language. She also understands about 2,000 words of spoken English and probably the most intelligent gorilla ever.

5. Washoe

Image Source

Another intelligent primate is Washoe, a female chimpanzee who was the first non-human to learn to communicate using ASL. She was born in Africa in 1965 and died in 2007 at the age of 42. She was able to learn about 350 words of ASL and was able to teach her adopted son Loulis, also a chimp.


6. Alex

Image Source

Undoubtedly, one of the most intelligent birds to ever live on this planet is Alex, an African Grey Parrot of exceptional intelligence. He was born in 1976 and died in September 2007 at the age of 31. He had a vocabulary of 100 words and is famous for his cognitive abilities. He understood the concept of zero, had the intelligence of a five-year-old human and had the emotional level of a human two-year-old at the time of his death.

7. Puck

Image Source

Another bird of exceptional intelligence is a Budgerigar named Puck. In 1995, Puck was credited as having the largest vocabulary of any bird by the Guinness World Records. Puck knows 1,728 words.

8. Bibi

Image Source

Bibi is another very intelligent bird. She is a Congo African Grey Parrot and is well remembered for her ability to use greetings from 20 different languages. Because of this amazing ability of Bibi, she is regarded as “The Polyglot Parrot”. She also understands the concept of shape and color and already developed a vocabulary of approximately 300 words.


9. Tiggy

Image Source

One of the most sensational cats in the world is Tiggy the Talking Cat. She was born in 1990 and died in June 2010. She is from Grimsby, England and became an Internet sensation in the early 2000s because she was able to make a unique talking-like noise. She appeared on TV and won the Funny Five competition in 2007. She also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and several other shows.

10. Oh Long Johnson

Another phenomenal cat with high intelligence quotient is the recent internet sensation is Oh Long Johnson. This cat can speak recognizable human words and phrases such as “All the live long day”, “Oh Don piano” and “Oh my dog”. Footages of Oh Long Johnson was featured on America’s Funniest Home Videos in 1998 and was aired in the UK too. You can also find video clips of Oh long Johnson on YouTube

Other Intelligent Mammals

11. Hoover

Image Source

Hoover is an intelligent harbor seal who was born in 1971 and died in July 1985 at the age of 14. This marine mammal is well remembered for its exceptional intelligence. It could imitate basic human speech. Hoover was an orphan found by George and Alice Swallow of Maine, USA. Phrases he spoke at the New England Aquarium include “Get outta here!” or “Well Hello Deah”. His exceptional talent was published in the Reader’s Digest and The New Yorker. He also appeared on Good Morning America.

12. Batyr

Imaged Source

Would you believe that elephants can paint? Batyr is perhaps one of the most intelligent elephants in world history. He was an Asian Elephant who was born June 23, 1969 and died on December 1, 1993 at the age of 24. It is claimed that he was able to use a large amount of meaningful human speech. Batyr live in a zoo in Kazakhstan and was known for having a vocabulary of more than 20 phrases. He used the phrases "Batyr is good", "Batyr is hungry" and the words "drink" and "give".

13. Kosik

Image Source

Another animal known to speak human language is Kosik. He is a male Asian Elephant that resides at the Everland Theme Park in Yongin, South Korea. He was born in 1990 and is now 22 years of age. He captured the world’s attention in September 2006 when it was discovered he could imitate 8 Korean words such as "yes" “no”, "sit"  "lie down" and four other words.


Christy Birmingham
Posted on Mar 5, 2012
Kaleidoscope Acres
Posted on Mar 4, 2012
Christopher McPhail
Posted on Mar 4, 2012