Elephants are one of the most intelligent animals on Earth. Elephant brains are larger than those of any other land animals, and are typically larger than many whale species despite the whale being quite larger. They are thought to be on par to cetaceans and primates, being able to convey emotions such as grief, humor, compassion, self awareness and memory.
Elephants are not only relatively smart, they are exceptionally smart. Elephants have been known to use language to communicate (as demonstrated by their trumpet calls), as well as use tools. They also display a type of self awareness, and are capable of recognizing themselves in the mirror, all of which are traits that show a level of intelligence perfectly in keeping with the potential of their enormous brains. Some groups even estimate that an elephant may be as smart as a lower level primate, or perhaps a human child. See attached links for more details.
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Elephants are extremely intelligent and demonstrate their intelligence in many ways, including figuring out ways to silence bells that alert others to their presence and halting activities to avoid hurting other animals. Check out this article for other specific ways that elephants have shown their level of intelligence.
Yes, yes, these answers are all great. I just want to add a little something. I remember reading about research in which an elephant was able to problem solve in order to get food. The Asian elephant figured out it needed to use an object as a step ladder to get to dangling food. Researchers likened this to the “aha” moments we have when problem solving. Interesting, right?
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