Degus — small rodents closely related to chinchillas — can be taught how to use rakes to obtain food. Rosenberg, Matthew, Tony Zhang, Pietro Perona, and Markus Meister. “Mice in a labyrinth show rapid learning, sudden insight, and efficient exploration.” eLife. “Neuronal factors determining high intelligence.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Katherine Butler is a journalist who covers science and culture, as well as a copywriter, branding writer, and television writer. Positive effects of a short-term dog-assisted intervention for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder — a pilot study.

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  • All this may lead some to the conclusion that all primates have a human-like capacity to copy abilities to make and/or use complex tools from each other.
  • It was discovered that the birds possessed the ability to solve complex mechanical problems, in one case spontaneously working out how to open a five-part locking mechanism in sequence to retrieve a food item.
  • Their ability to solve problems has also been documented by numerous scientific studies, such as those in which rats found their way through mazes with the reward of food.
  • Some repeatedly use tools until the point that they can show significant degradation, while others use tools sparingly and only once.
  • This behaviour has been recorded in a blackspot tuskfish on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, yellowhead wrasse in Florida and a six-bar wrasse in an aquarium setting.

The first recorded evidence of this species of crow demonstrating prey dropping behavior on the snail Placostylus fibratus in a 2013 study. New Caledonian crows dropped snails from a particular height onto rocky beds and video recording showed one crow repeating this four times from the same height. American crows are another of several species of birds that possess prey dropping behavior. Prey loss almost always occurred through kleptoparasitism however, there is a lack of evidence that shows kleptoparasitism being directly affected by height of prey dropped. Different variables such as, prey size, shell breakability, predators, substrate, and height affect the behavior of prey dropping for different species.

Do Animals Use Tools?

From dolphins to bees, pigs to rats pet store , here are 10 of the smartest animals in the world. It is worth noting that some experts argue it’s brain size overall, not EQ, that determines cognitive ability in nonhumans. Well, EQ—encephalization quotient—is the measure used to describe an animal’s intelligence by comparing its brain to that of a creature of the same size.

Until 1963, Most Scientists Believed That Tool Use Was A Uniquely Human Trait

This characteristic has even earned it the nicknames “tooling-using finch” and “carpenter finch.” Scientists have found that this behavior is not learned socially, but is innate. Gorillas aren’t just extraordinarily strong — roughly 10 times stronger than a full-grown man — but they possess brains as well. Wild gorillas are known to use branches as walking sticks to test water depth and trunks from shrubs as makeshift bridges to cross deep patches of swamp.

Chimpanzees use tools in a variety of ways, but they are especially good at using tools to reach food. But ants and termites usually spend their time hiding beneath tree bark or underground. For a long time, scientists believed that humans were the only animals that used tools.

Gorilla: Varied Uses For A Single Stick

Working with an animal in these cases may motivate the person to continue therapy, boost their mood, and reduce signs of pain. For physical conditions, it may help them move correctly and exercise often. A number of organizations train handlers and connect them to healthcare providers.

Therefore, the sponge may be used to protect their rostrums as they forage in a niche where echolocation and vision are less effective hunting techniques. Dolphins tend to carry the same sponge for multiple surfacings but sometimes change sponges. Spongers typically are more solitary, take deeper dives, and spend more time foraging than non-spongers.

Their ability to solve problems has also been documented by numerous scientific studies, such as those in which rats found their way through mazes with the reward of food. Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. Some people may not enjoy animal therapy or have other reasons to avoid it, and they can choose from alternative therapies.


Elephants are among the most intelligent animals in the world, with brains larger than those of any other land animal. Anecdotes suggest they can intentionally drop logs or rocks on electric fences to short them out and plug up water holes with balls of chewed bark to keep other animals from drinking them away. Asian elephants are even known to systematically modify branches to swat at flies, breaking them down to ideal lengths for attacking the insects. A review study notes that animal therapy appears to provide general benefits for both physical and psychological health. Evidence for animal assisted therapy appears strongest for markers of anxiety and depression in the widest range of people. The gorilla named Koko became famous for learning sign language and caring for a pet cat.

The long-tailed macaque is of the most prodigious primate species in the world, and you can soak up more knowledge about it here. Enter your email in the box below to get the most mind-blowing animal stories and videos delivered directly to your inbox every day. Bob Strauss is a science writer and the author of several books, including “The Big Book of What, How and Why” and “A Field Guide to the Dinosaurs of North America.”