What does it mean to say a creature is “intelligent”? What is intelligence anyway? It is the ability to learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations according to the dictionary. Based on this, let´s compare human intelligence with animal intelligence.
Some of the potential criteria for human intelligence involves the use of tools and technology. However, chimpanzees are able to approach human levels of tool use. Studies revealed that they sharpened their sticks to use them as spears; this is also the first systematic use of weapon ever observed outside humans.
Also, self-consciousness is the classical test using mirrors. Here is where an animal´s face is marked while it´s asleep, and then it´s brought to a mirror when it´s awake. If the animal begins to groom the strange new mark, then the creature recognizes the face in the mirror as its own. Ultimatley, it is a sign of self-awareness.
There is also language involved in the human intelligence, but we are not the only ones that can communicate with each other. There are a number of seemingly and complex forms of animal communication. These include whale songs, bee dances, color changes in the animal´s body, etc. Nevertheless, there have been many attempts into teaching primates the basics of human language. Yet, it is still asked if these primates truly understand what they´re saying, or how much of what they´re saying. We have also made research on mimicking birds such as parrots into their language and reasoning capabilities. Even so, our understanding of animal language remains in its minority. Still, we can not say that language is the exclusive province of human beings.
Animals have also shown that math isn´t something just for human´s knowledge, instead elephants have performed simple arithemtic, monkeys can count, ants show a remarkable grasp of quantitative values, and chimps have an exceptional memory for remembering numbers.
Finally, elephants have even been able to paint whatever comes out of their minds without human beings teaching them. Remarkably, they never paint the same picture, but always something different.
As we can see, humans are not the only creatures that have intelligence. There are a many number of animals that can understand various things such as humans. I believe that if we could research on every single animal to its fullness, we´d be astonished.