You're not as smart as you think are. While writer Yuval Noah Harari wrote his best-selling book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind about the hubris and social bonds of humans, the animal kingdom is full of wondrous intelligence and social structures. "You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven," Harari quips, but chimpanzees are capable of outperforming humans at certain memory tasks, and they demonstrate empathy, altruism, and self-awareness through their problem-solving skills. Many regard them as the smartest non-human species in existence, but plenty of other animals have fascinated scientists in their studies of the brain, even challenging conventional understanding of what "intelligence" is.
For instance, whales' emotional intelligence and empathy may result in mass strandings because of their close social bonds. A crow can remember the face of a human who hurt them for years, and they can even pass on the information to another crow as a warning to stay away from that human. What was the nicest thing you've done for your friends lately?
With more than 300 billion neurons, elephant brains are one of the most interesting systems known to scientists. Widely thought to be one of the most intelligent creatures on earth, elephants exhibit a wide range of emotions, advanced learning capabilities, self-awareness, and even a sense of humor.