Ordinary animals in fiction have a [[ArtisticLicenseBiology significantly increased intelligence]]. Not necessarily the {{Talking Animal}}s. Not the {{Funny Animal}}s. Just the wild and domestic animals encountered in stories where humans are the main characters. Such animals can frequently clearly understand everything humans say, understand human emotions, read, figure out how to solve problems on their own, and so forth. This is also true for cases in which the animals can [[AnimalTalk talk to each other]] [so the audience can hear them] but are common animals in the eyes of any humans in the film.

Beyond that, they will, if they belong to a human, also circumvent their natural instincts in order to aid or protect their humans.

See also AnimalTalk, FriendToAllLivingThings, TimmyInAWell, and MostWritersAreHuman. See UpliftedAnimal, for when it's deliberately done in-universe. Not to be confused with MysteriousAnimalSenses. Not to be confused with TropeyTheWonderDog, which is about metaphorical dogs.

There is some TruthInTelevision, see the real life section.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop'': One could think Bebop's crew's dog Ein is an example, but he really is an UpliftedAnimal. However, this trope is played straight in the episode ''Mushroom Samba'' ({{Trope Namer|s}} of MushroomSamba) with a cow whom Ein thanks (getting a "you're welcome" in return).
* OsamuTezuka runs on this trope: ''Manga/KimbaTheWhiteLion'' is a prime example, though many of his works, like ''{{Manga/Phoenix}}'' and ''Manga/BlackJack'', feature extraordinarily intelligent animals whose sapience is never explained or questioned. One ''Manga/BlackJack'' story revolves around a bird who collects money to pay a boy's medical bills. No, really. [[TearJerker But it's not smart enough to realize when the debt's been completely paid off.]]
* The Gorilla from ''Manga/CromartieHighSchool'' shows questionable signs of intelligence. It is implied that he can use a computer and he is able to make his own sushi. The students at Cromartie even go as far as to say that the Gorilla is ''smarter than them''.
* ''{{Anime/Stratos 4}}'' has Alice, an old cat who is the pet of Rin and Ran Mikuriya. Alice, who is also nicknamed "Admiral," definitely shows a comprehension of what's going on (especially as shown in her occasional captioned cat-noises), including watching the news, displaying emotion rather clearly, and trying to smuggle herself or stow away on a plane in order to fly to the skies herself (though it's a RunningGag that she keeps on being found and removed from said planes). She even has an encounter with several other cats that display a similar level of intelligent thought, including a kitten whom she adopts.
** This is parodied in the short "Stratos 4.1", in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* [[PokemonSpeak Despite the difficulty they have learning to say more than their own species name]], most Pokemon in [[{{Anime/Pokemon}} the anime]] appear to understand human speech. Even a Pokemon that hasn't even been caught yet can recognize when one of their attacks are called. Team Rocket's Meowth gained the ability to talk but lost the ability to learn the signature move Pay Day. This may not sound bad, but Pay Day literally ''makes money''. It's mentioned that he actually lost the ability to learn ''any'' new move ("I used up all my smarts learning to talk."), and doing so before he learned Pay Day was just an unfortunate lack of good timing.
* The original ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' series had "[[ShoutOut Algernon]]", a mouse with enhanced intelligence and the ability to command other mice (a la Krosp from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''), developed as a security system. Algernon went rogue and [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs took over the heroines' headquarters building]] before he was stopped by the Pair.
* Any and all summoned animals in Manga/{{Naruto}} have this, from Kakashi's mostly-normal talking dogs to Jiraiya's extemely powerful and ancient toads. Partner animals, like Akamaru, Tonton, and Kuromaru, are a bit less so, but still impressive. Kakashi's pug Pakkun is noted as being exceptional even for ninja animals, being able to speak Kakashi's name when he was four months old. Outside of the toads and Akamaru, he gets the most screentime too.
* An established rule in the universe of ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'' is that gaining a Stand grants intelligence and sapience to the animal that gains it. This has applied to an orangutan, a Boston terrier, a rat [[spoiler:(actually two of them)]], a [[ItMakesSenseInContext flower with a cat's mind]], and a ''colony of zooplankton''.
* While most of the characters' pets in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' can't speak (Iceland's pet puffin is an exception), they are clearly capable of thinking and have the ability to understand what people are saying.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* KryptoTheSuperdog and other super-pets showed up in, of course, the {{Franchise/Superman}}-related comics.
* The Comicbook/PetAvengers! Subverted with [[FormallyNamedPet Ms. Lion]] though, who while able to communicate with the others on the team [[DogsAreDumb is as dumb as a stack of hammers.]]
* And then there's ''Rex The Wonder Dog''. Despite being an ostensibly normal dog, Rex had a job as a photographer, drove cars, and once [[SerialEscalation nuked a T-Rex]]. Rex has since been officially recognized both in and out of story as being a very remarkable individual and nothing even close to a normal dog.
* Dr. Arthur Nagel, a supervillain from Creator/MarvelComics, is supposed to have been abducted by a tribe of gorillas who stitched his head onto a gorilla's body. Considering that Dr. Nagel is still ambulatory, this may be the [[UpToEleven ultimate]] example of this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* Creator/{{DreamWorks}} uses this trope liberally:
** ''WesternAnimation/SpiritStallionOfTheCimarron''. Horses are extremely intelligent animals, but the idea of a horse playing dead in order to get humans to break his chains, and then successfully breaking the latches on a train, is taking things a bit far. The directors even lampshade this in the commentary on that scene.
** The first big [=DreamWorks=] movie, ''Film/{{Mousehunt}}'', did this too. Let's put it this way: secret agents are not as cunning as this mouse.
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'': Toothless turns out to be pretty smart for a dragon, understanding Hiccup's spoken commands, able to create art (even if it's just a jumble of lines), and the concept of forgiveness, sparing those who chose to spare him even if they had tried to kill him before.
* Common with Bluth Studios:
** ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'', obviuosly all the characters, especially the dog who fears going to hell.
** Pooka, Anya's dog in ''{{WesternAnimation/Anastasia}}''
** ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNimh'': Unlike Jonathan, Mr. Ages, and the rats, Mrs. Brisby's intelligence was not boosted by lab research yet she is able to read, escape a bird cage, and disable a tractor by cutting its fuel line.
* Franchise/{{Disney|AnimatedCanon}} is a huge proponent of this trope:
** ''Disney/TheAristocats''
** ''Disney/OliverAndCompany''
** ''Disney/{{Bolt}}''
** Nana from ''Disney/PeterPan''
** All animals appearing in ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp''. It might even be an accepted part of that world, considering how the dogs are talked to and that the two Italian chefs take so much time to prepare a meal and music for the titular characters.
** ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' has an aversion: Phillipe runs from the wolves instead of defending Belle (which, while sensible, is not how a LoyalAnimalCompanion normally behaves in fiction), and while she tries to talk to sheep, they clearly are more interested in eating her book than reading it.
** Figaro and Cleo in ''{{Disney/Pinocchio}}''.
** Remy in particular from ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}''.
** Abu and Rajah from ''{{Disney/Aladdin}}''. Jasmine was also able to pet a goldfish. Iago the parrot is a TalkingAnimal, tough; he was only pretending to be a regular parrot when the sultan was around.
** The dogs from ''{{WesternAnimation/Up}}'' can talk (with technological assistance), cook, and even fly planes.
** The dogs in ''Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians''. They worked out a long-distance communication system among themselves!
** Archimedes, Merlin's "highly educated" owl, in ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone''. Sir Ector suspects that Merlin has him under a spell. Archimedes is insulted at the notion.
** Pip from ''{{Film/Enchanted}}''. Justified since it is a parody of all of the above.
** And, of course, {{WesternAnimation/Pluto|ThePup}}, the one MickeyMouse character who isn't a FunnyAnimal, but is still rather intelligent and can understand (if not speak) English.
** And the tradition continues in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', which features the emotive chameleon, Pascal, and the horse, Maximus, who happens to be more competent than his own rider the (presumable) captain of the guard. Over the course of the film, he is shown tracking his quarry by scent, locating secret passages, and even 'sword fighting', all of this in manner more competent than the humans who are supposed to be 'his' masters. It's no surprise then, that at the end of the film [[spoiler: Maximus is made the actual leader of the kingdom's guards.]]
* ''RinTinTin''
* All the dogs from ''WesternAnimation/{{Balto}}''. They talk ''to each other'' but humans hear only barking.
* ''WonTonTon'', an AffectionateParody of ''RinTinTin''.
* The Creator/BusterKeaton short ''TheScarecrow'' features Luke the Dog (on loan from Creator/FattyArbuckle), who can walk up and down ladders.
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''
** Jack. [[WeNamedTheMonkeyJack The monkey Jack.]]
** Mr. Cotton's parrot is intelligent enough to sort of telepathically understand Mr. Cotton and spout an appropriate sea phrase in response so the humans know what his human is trying to say.
*** Lampshaded by Mr. Gibbs: "He trained the parrot to speak for him. *beat* Nobody's quite figured how."
* ''Film/GForce'': The titular trained secret agent rodents are capable of complex hand coordination, bipedal movement, physical display of human emotions (which shouldn't be possible), and computer hacking skills (as in the case of the star-nosed mole, Speckles). While all these abilities are (partially) justified by government animal experimentation, it fails to explain why the ordinary pet store animals, such as guinea pig Hurley and Hamster Bucky, are just as capable of these feats of intelligence as the G-Force team.
** Then towards the end of the movie, the unit's leader, scientist Ben, confesses that the team are not genetically enhanced animals as previously told, but ordinary ones Ben took in and trained for the team. WTF doesn't begin to describe it.
* Any InstantMessengerPigeon would probably also qualify for this trope, since while messenger birds existed they were rarely as good at it as some fictional versions. The owls in ''Literature/HarryPotter'', particularly, would have to be ''much'' smarter than real owls to be able to deliver messages. Of course, those are implicitly [[AWizardDidIt magical]] owls sooo...
* Suzanne in ''Film/JayAndSilentBobStrikeBack''.
* The animals in ''Film/HomewardBoundTheIncredibleJourney'' are able to talk to each other, plan an escape out of a pound, and make pop-culture references.
* Wolf in ''Film/TheJourneyOfNattyGann'' demonstrates an implausible capacity for reason: not only does he recognize the part Natty played in his escape from a dogfighting ring (by opening a door for him), he repays her by presenting her with a freshly-killed rabbit when she's starving in the woods, and proceeds to follow her around warning her of impending danger and performing acts of altruism like defending a farmer's chicken coop from foxes for no apparent reason beyond repaying the farmer and his wife for helping Natty. At times, Wolf seems like the smartest character in the whole movie.
* Trigger, the 'smartest horse in the west'.
* ''Film/TheMask'': Stanely Ipkiss's dog, Milo, understands what a prison is.{{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by police detective and {{Hero Antagonist}} Lt. Mitch Kellaway when Stanley leaves him cuffed in the car with Milo for his safety, before the Jack Russel Terrier opens the car door with his teeth and joins the fray. Mitch: "Smart dog".
** Contrary to what one would think, a dog would not understand a command to get a pair of keys.
* In ''{{WesternAnimation/Rio}}'', Blu, while unable to fly, can turn on a computer, ride a skateboard, and open his own cage.
** In fairness, parrots are ''very'' smart, and if they want to figure something out, sooner or later they will.
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'', Doc's dog Copernicus seems to at an almost human level of intelligence at times. For starters, after Doc finishes reading the letter that [[WriteBackToTheFuture his future self wrote to Marty]], Copernicus seems to be rather sad about Doc being TrappedInThePast. In addition, Copernicus is the one who discovers Doc's tombstone, and he seems to realize what it says.
* In ''Film/{{Baxter}}'', the eponymous bull terrier narrates the film and has a more complete understanding of his situation than something with dog-like intelligence. Although he's only able to do things that a normal dog would do, he knows that, for example, tripping his current master so that she falls down some stairs will lead to him becoming someone else's dog.
* Chuy the pig from ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', reacts like a human to the Rodriguezes' song attempts, and drops consecutively larger pots and plants on them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has notoriously clever crows; some crows are capable of vocalization and most crows can be and are trained to carry messages between castles. Also, direwolves are considerably bigger than their extinct real-life counterparts and have tangential intelligence related to their owner's capacity to Warg.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' has a {{justified|Trope}} example. Harry's dog Mouse is a [[HalfHumanHybrid Half Dog Hybrid]] between a normal dog and a Fu Dog, who is ''at least'' as intelligent as his owner and probably more powerful. He works the BigFriendlyDog schtick so as not to frighten the {{Muggles}}. However, he is still a dog, and his idea of a perfect afternoon involve a ride in the car, a long belly rub and an unshared hotdog.
** Mister, Harry's 30 pound pet cat appears to be somewhat more intelligent than most animals. Or that could just be cats. Though something could be made of the fact that he looks exactly the same as always under the Sight.
* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' series subverts the trope. Talking Animals are smart. Non-Talking Animals are not any smarter than animals on a mundane Earth. And really, even the talking ones aren't necessarily ''that'' smart....
** Even in-universe, there's a clear distinction made. The protagonists consider meat delicious and nutritious, but meat from a talking animal squicks them out.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
** Hermione's cat, Crookshanks. Subverted as it's later revealed that it's half Kneazle, a magical creature.
** The owls seem like ordinary owls but they have the magical ability to find whomever the mail they carry is addressed to.
** There's also the issue of how being a parselmouth works, if all snakes aren't intelligent.
** Played with in one of the series' earliest scenes, when Mr. Dursley sees cat-[=McGonagall=] looking at a sign, and has to remind himself that cats can't read.
* Shows up in Creator/TamoraPierce's ''Literature/TortallUniverse'', in part thanks to "wild magic" that gives humans a gift with (usually) a particular variety of critter.
** Daine, the protagonist of ''Literature/TheImmortals'' has wild magic with ''all'' animals. Through her, we learn that Tortallan animals can understand humans to an extent but can't communicate with them, and in some cases ''could'' communicate with each other--but (since it's not played totally straight) they never get that kind of idea until they meet Daine. Prolonged exposure to Daine increases their intelligence to sentience, but it's often a stressful and unhappy experience for them. Her pony Cloud is completely sentient, as is the leader of a wolf pack that took Daine in after her mother's death.
** In ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall'', Daine is a secondary character and lives at the palace. Consequently, all animals in and around the palace, from horses to sparrows, get smarter. The flock of sparrows that Kel feeds recognizes her as their benefactor; they defend her from enemies and can understand basic instructions. Her horse Peachblossom is basically sentient, and even a stray like Jump has given himself a name. In ''Lady Knight'', Daine alters all the animals in the refugee camp so they can communicate through body language/signals to make up for the camp being critically understaffed, which unsettles almost everyone, especially when they learn what palace animals are like.
---> "Just the animals ''here'' are unnatural. What if you return to find the horses have decided not to work for men and the dogs are running the courts of law?"
* Literature/MollyMoon has her pet pug, Petula saving the day quite a few times.
* ''Literature/AnimalFarm'' plays this trope straight, where the animals (mostly the pigs) are shown to be highly intelligent when they speak English, devise battle plans, design windmills, form a complex government, carry out purges, etc.
* While the titular rats in ''Literature/MrsFrisbyAndTheRatsOfNIMH'' are justifiably this trope, thanks to their lab-enhanced intellects, ordinary animals like crows, owls, and Mrs. Frisby herself (a common field mouse) also talk to one another.ding to exterminators needing to be called. All this has contributed to the belief that they are pests, even though many consider them cute. In Russia,
* Creator/MercedesLackey usually uses magic as an excuse for her intelligent animals. However, in the case of [[HeraldsOfValdemar Shin'a'in]] warhorses, this is natural breeding, making them strong, smart, and mean.
* {{Literature/Discworld}} gives us Gaspode the Wonder Dog (later just Gaspode), who can talk (but nobody pays any attention, because dogs can't talk). ''Moving Pictures'' also gives us [[AffectionateParody Laddie]], who plays a superintelligent dog onscreen but whose RealLife conversation consists mostly of 'Good boy Laddie'.
** Subverted in ''The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents'', in which even ordinary (non-Changeling) rats and cats are presumed to have languages of their own. The subversion is that Rat consists largely of body language (e.g. a submissive crouch for "sir"), while Cat is equipped mainly for swearing. It is also limited to actual rat social behavior, which while quite complex isn't any good for abstract ideas (and according to the Author's Note is somewhat toned down from reality to stay believable).
* All the animal characters in Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown's ''MrsMurphyMysteries'' series.
* The cats in the book (and movie) ''{{WesternAnimation/Felidae}}'' are shown to be able to read and understand how certain machines are used. It's pointed out that learning these things takes time, and that not all cats bother with the task, though just about all of them understand humans.
--> '''Francis''': I never thought I would ever see one of us, sitting in front of a computer... and actually knowing how to use it!
* ''Literature/DoctorDolittle'' learned how to speak with animals from his parrot, Polynesia, and pretty much every animal has a language.
* The dinosaurs in ''{{Literature/Dinoverse}}'' all tend to display a lot of intelligence. It would be expected with the main characters, who after all are humans cast back in time and put into dinosaur bodies, but just about everything they encounter that doesn't just try to kill them is ridiculously bright. In the first two books they mostly just have keen senses of emotional intelligence and group dynamics, with understanding of things like jealousy, reconciliation, gratitude, and amicably ending a relationship. Leptoceratopsians are able to use mimicry. The next two books ramp it up. Hypsilophodons help a character collect material to build a raft ''and'' row ''and'' hit a predator with clubs, all just because they watched a human-in-a-Hypsilophodon-body do it. There is also the case of Hook/Junior, a Deinonychus who over the course of less than a week of watching, learns to ''make fire'', splint injured limbs, and is able to, if not read, than at least has some understanding of the markings scratched into rock walls. He also fakes a limp on his own initiative. Hook/Junior, unlike all the others in the series, is noted to be unusually smart by the human characters. It's even implied that saving him and letting him rejoin Deinonychus society leads to dinosaurs surviving to modern times as an entire civilization, in an alternate universe.
* Creator/JRRTolkien uses this in his Middle-earth stories. While the most [[TalkingAnimal prominent such creatures]] -- the [[GiantFlyer giant Eagles]], [[SavageWolves Wargs]], and [[CanisMajor Huan]] -- are special cases and probably not mundane animals, it's hinted in various stories that ordinary mammals and birds are intelligent and [[AnimalTalk may talk to each other]]. Some characters [[SpeaksFluentAnimal learn the speech of birds or of all animals]] (though, granted, Legolas in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' can "hear" the "speech" of rocks and plants). Very well-bred horses are often depicted as understanding what their riders say, especially when ridden by elves. Then there are the talking crows in ''Literature/TheHobbit'' and the "[[Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth Lay of Leithien]]," Beorn's PartiallyCivilizedAnimal servants/friends, and the inner monologue of the fox (good grief, travelling hobbits!) in ''The Fellowship of the Ring''. Just how seriously we're supposed to take all this is never spelled out, though we never see CarnivoreConfusion even in the [[PhysicalHeaven Blessed Realm]].
* Tolerably [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] example in ''Literature/SpiritAnimals''. The titular [[BondCreatures spirit animals]] are a fair bit more intelligent than regular animals due to their supernatural nature, able to understand the requests of their human partners and react appropriately. The fifteen [[PhysicalGod Great Beasts]] are still more intelligent, able to talk and sometimes teaching humans things.
* The {{Novelization}} of ''Literature/RevengeOfTheSith'' makes this explicit of the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragonmount]] that Obi-Wan rides on Utapau. He can sense her intelligence through TheForce, and throughout the battle he banters with her and gives her orders that she follows without any problems.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* The titular kangaroo of ''Series/SkippyTheBushKangaroo'' not only showed a remarkable understanding of English, but would often imitate human behaviors like playing a piano or the drums.
* ''Series/{{Flipper}}'' understood the people he dealt with.
* [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Spot]], however, did not necessarily understand Data any better than a cat understands a normal human.
* ''Series/{{Lassie}}'', naturally, cannot only understand, but can also bark in some sort of code that humans understand to mean TimmyInAWell.
* ''{{Wishbone}}''.
* Arnold from ''Series/GreenAcres'' was arguably smarter than all the humans.
* Comet, the horse from ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr'', is a blatant parody of this trope. Not only does Brisco's steed perform some unlikely feats of intelligence on camera, but Bruce Campbell regularly refers to even less-plausible things Comet had been doing, before its rider whistled for it.
* ''Series/DueSouth'': Diefenbaker, the deaf half-wolf was just as much Fraser's partner as Ray.
* ''Series/TheLittlestHobo'': The doggy protagonist seems to understand human speech, as well as concepts like tape recorders.
** An entire episode revolves around two scientists trying to get hold of him to find out just how smart he is; he has no interest in their work, and better things to do. [[spoiler:In the end, the answer seems to be "smarter that the scientists."]]
* Eddie, the Jack Russell in ''{{Series/Frasier}}'', [[PingPongNaivete ping-ponged]] across the line between realistically intelligent, as-unrealistically-bright-as-the-RuleOfFunny-will-allow, [[Franchise/WallaceAndGromit Gromit-esque]] SilentSnarker, and occasionally [[DogsAreDumb so very stupid]] it seems like he's [[ObfuscatingStupidity putting it on...]].
* ''TalesOfTheGoldMonkey'': Jack, the one eyed bull terrier. Barks once for no, twice for yes (and never been wrong) and understands at least three languages (English, Japanese, and Spanish.)
* A junkyard cat called "Jack Bauer the Cat" in an episode of ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia. It seemed to be street-smarts personified, albeit a totally normal cat otherwise.
* Almost every animal in ''Series/{{Thunderstone}}'' is far smarter than it has any right to be. Arushka’s horse Moshi “knows what you’re gonna do, even before you do it” and understands any verbal command. Dolly the sheepdog can track her puppies across a vast desert without help. Prince the hawk brings Arushka a rock of thunderstone to show her that a huge deposit is nearby, and leads Chip, Kwan and Geneva to Arushka and Sundance when they’re trapped in a cave.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''VideoGame/NancyDrew'' games:
** Loulou the Parrot from ''The Curse of Blackmoor Manor'' is smart enough to play complex word games, translate Latin, and play pranks on Nancy Drew. Even for an octogenarian, that's shrewd.
** Her granddaughter Coucou, from ''Ransom of the Seven Ships'', continues the family tradition of genius. The game-playing monkeys on the island aren't slouches either.
** Isis from ''The White Wolf of Icicle Creek''
** Uri from ''Secret of The Old Clock''
** Mickey Malone's dogs from ''Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake''
** Bob from ''The Secret of Shadow Ranch''
** Inverted by Mr. Mingles, the Pomeranian from ''Resorting To Danger''. It'd take a ''phenomenally'' stupid animal to get into half the predicaments -- trapped in a dumbwaiter, locked in a safe, sucked up a pneumatic delivery tube -- that pesky puffball manages to stumble into.
* Koromaru the dog from ''{{VideoGame/Persona 3}}'' can summon a Persona, fight using a knife held in his teeth, and understands human speech perfectly. That should be more than enough to qualify.
* Boney from ''{{VideoGame/Mother 3}}''. Unlike Ness's, Lucas's dog is extremely competent. He's fast, is strong enough to cause damage to metal, and is even capable of using items on battle (Hell, he's using a Saltwater Gun effectively even though he has no hands). In Chapter 4, he's able to normally walk as a human for long periods and fooling the guards into thinking he's human. It is also implied that Boney understands human speech
* Repede from ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia''. He's a dog who's perfectly capable of understanding human speech, and is an extremely capable fighter, being able to wield a sword held in his teeth, and being able to unleash artes that are just as flashy and deadly as those of the human characters.
* Blanca from ''[[VideoGame/ShadowHearts Shadow Hearts: Covenant]]'', who is not only a domesticated wolf raised from a puppy, but is also a full party member enough to make combos with other allies.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'': the Mabari War Hounds actually ''are'' as intelligent as humans, having been originally [[AWizardDidIt bred by Telvinter magisters]]. In fact, they're often said to be ''smarter''; after all, they know better than to speak, and "Dog," your party's war hound, is smart enough to easily understand human speech. A few characters have full conversations with him, and the player character seems to understand his barks as well.
** In VideoGame/DragonAgeII, the Hawke family Mabari learns to play cards.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'': In the ghost world animals can perfectly communicate with humans since human and animal souls are no different to each other, and since there's no language barrier in the world of the dead[[note]]Souls communicate by directly beaming and interpreting their abstract thoughts[[/note]]. The only "barriers" between humans and animals is the latter's lack of understanding of more human concepts. For example: Missile, [[MisterMuffykins a small Pomeranian]], is perfectly able to communicate with [[TheHero Sissel]] in the ghost world, all while maintaining his ordinary dog behavior like [[CuteButCacophonic loudness]], [[ThePollyanna upbeat oblivious attitude]], and [[UndyingLoyalty fierce loyalty to his owner]].
* Roadkill from ''VideoGame/ComixZone'' can be released to get by obstacles and hit the switches that turn them off, then return to Sketch. In the backstory mentioned, Sketch never specifically trained Roadkill to do anything at all.
* It's possible to use the telepathy in the ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' games on animals, whose thoughts are always at least as comprehensible as human ones, and often show the animals as more insightful than the people. The second game has an extensive trade quest based on what can be uncovered of the wants of a group of animals (some of whom even deliberately use the telepathy to be conversational).
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', where Krosp the talking cat is a mad scientist's creation, endowed not just with intelligence and speech but also the ability to command all other cats, creating an unseen army of spies, messengers and saboteurs wherever he goes. Emphasis on "mad": cats obey Krosp, but they're ''animals''. They're not sapient, they can't reason, and if they understand their orders they have an attention span of seconds.
** Well, it's not quite right to say he has the "ability" to command cats. That was his intended purpose, but the only problem that was solved by creating Krosp was the issue of communication. Cats can understand him and vice versa, but he still has to get their attention, get them interested enough to do what he's asking, and care enough to do it for long enough to actually finish the job. Seeing as they're cats, it was this last one especially that caused problems.
*** According to Krosp [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20040317 himself]], he easily gets their attention and gets them interested -- he's apparently got epic-level charisma as far as cats are concerned -- but he can't always make them ''understand'' what he wants, and then the attention span causes them to forget about what he told them to do.
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Judy]], Doctor [=McNinja=]'s gorilla receptionist, can read and write, drive cars, and is in general treated like a human character. [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs Yoshi]] the raptor mount is somewhat more animalistic, but is able to communicate with Judy and understand concepts like writing, even if he can't read. Later, when fully sapient dinosaurs take over the world, they [[spoiler:try to make him intelligent, but even then he has rather limited linguistic abilities and is only capable of YouNoTakeCandle-style speech]].
* Scratch Fury (Destroyer of Worlds) is a hyperintelligent cat in ''Webcomic/{{PvP}}''. ''[=PvP=]'' is not a "funny animal" strip, and Scratch is the only animal to be depicted this way. (There's a recurring basset character that ranges in intelligence between "real basset hound" and "human moron", depending on whichever would be funnier.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Pal, the dog in ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}''.
* Some of the variations on ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldHis9Lives''.
* All ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays''' pets understand them.
* Creator/HannaBarbera is also a huge proponent of this trope:
** [[WesternAnimation/SpaceGhost Blip the monkey]] understands Jan and Jayce.
** WesternAnimation/TheHerculoids all understand Zandor, Tara and Dorno. Possible subversion: they're all alien animals(?), and we don't know if they are sapient and just unable to utter human speech.
** WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest's dog Bandit understands Johnny and every human in the family.
** Dino and Hoppy from ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' understand their humans, and so do most of the animal-based appliances in that world.
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}''
*** Wonder Dog understands Wendy and Marvin.
*** And Gleek understands [[ComicBook/WonderTwins Zan and Jayna]].
** ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' as well as Butch the dog and any other animals appearing in their cartoons have easily human intelligence.
** ''WesternAnimation/HongKongPhooey'''s cat [[HypercompetentSidekick Spot]] was actually ''smarter'' than the title "hero".
** ''Birdman'''s golden eagle Avenger understood Birdman well enough to follow commands.
** And what of WesternAnimation/YogiBear, who's "smarter than the average bear"?
* In ''WesternAnimation/KryptoTheSuperdog'', Krypto understands all humans, and the only reason Kevin understands him is that there's a translator device.
* [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Monkey]] in the Dial M for Monkey segment on ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheAnimalsOfFarthingWood'' being that they were all realistic animals, and while they all spoke to each other, they never understood humans and mistrusted them all equally except The Warden of White Deer Park, who was vouched for by the Park residents as being a man with the animals' safety first in mind.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' has strange combo-animals that fall under this trope ''and/or'' behave like ordinary one-type animals.
** Appa is a straight example: he flat-out seems to understand everyone.
** Jun's mount didn't seem to understand humans.
** The Giant Badger-Moles in "The Cave of Two Lovers" like music and apparently understood Sokka enough to allow him to ride them to safety.
** Avatar Roku's dragon and the old Fire Lord Azulon's dragon seemed to understand them.
** Momo is a deliberate subversion. When Katara and Sokka are incapacitated from illness, Katara asks Momo to bring water. Momo understands the "go get" part but spends the entire episode bringing back random objects, no matter how slowly Katara speaks and tries to communicate 'water'.
** In an episode of Avatar, a messenger hawk is intercepted by a bigger hawk. The larger hawk was able to tie up the smaller hawk with a couple of ribbons, take the message, and fly it back to its owner.
*** The messenger hawk example is the only one that doesn't fit the usual pattern: animals with bending powers (sky bison, badger-moles, dragons, maybe lion-turtles) have human or near-human intelligence. Others are just animals - however, companion animals like Momo are consistently able to tell human friends from neutral humans from enemy humans, with an appreciation for when someone changes categories, and react to them accordingly. Most animals vocalize if spoken to, as if responding. Momo clearly understands some things... just not everything.
*** "[[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheTalesOfBaSingSe The Tales of Ba Sing Se]]" is a shining example of this trope; go to the recap page for the details.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Santa's Little Helper's intelligence varies from episode to episode. In some, he's completely stupid, in others he's smart enough to do EvenTheDogIsAshamed gags and understand why being married to a cat is a bad idea.
** Bart also ordered a perfect dog from a catalogue who was extremely intelligent.
** In the Elephant episode, he even managed to ''speak'' (before falling over).
** The pony Homer gets Lisa in Lisa's Pony.
** Mr. Pinchy, the lobster Homer gets in Lisa Gets an A.
** The sheep at the petting zoo in Lisa the Vegetarian.
** Blinky in Homer's Odyssey.
** Animals in general vary on ''The Simpsons,'' to super-intelligent talking monkeys and dolphins ("Pray for Mojo") to human (or Homer) level intelligent to even dumber than real animals.
* Penny's dog Brain from ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' is smarter than her uncle and saves his life several times per episode. This is not as true in TheMovie, though.
** Mad Cat (Doctor Claw's henchcat) also fits the mould, but For Great Evil. At times the not-so-good doctor has ordered Mad Cat to launch guided weapons. CatsAreMean, I know, but missiles?
* Rufus the naked mole rat from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' was able to understand and read English as well as go WAY out of the way to save his human, Ron, and managed to figure out which buttons to push to release the bonds holding the heroine and sidekick. In the episode 'Naked Genius', he [[spoiler:became even smarter when he accidentally had Project Phoebus used on him, infusing him with the intelligence of the smartest men on the planet along with taking the villain of the day's (Doctor Drakken) intellect, making it so the blue madman was unable to do more than doodle at the level of a kindergartener.]] It was only for that episode, as the effects eventually wore off on all parties.
* Tracy, in Creator/{{Filmation}}'s live-action series ''The Ghost Busters'' and the later animated series ''WesternAnimation/FilmationsGhostbusters''. The latter took this trope to ''insane'' levels.
* Brian from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' is a dog that speaks perfect English, walks on two legs, drinks alcohol, and is generally more intelligent than anyone else on the show. He might well be a parody, as he not only talks, but also interacts with other people the way normal humans would, and this is never pointed out by anyone. And, if his instincts don't get the best of him, he usually takes the role of OnlySaneMan in the show. But he is one of only a handful of such animals shown, as most animals are shown to be just like regular ones. Two notable exceptions are the monkey in Chris's closet and the dog that replaced Brian in one episode when the Griffins believed Brian was getting too old.
** Also Brian's gay cousin, Jasper, but for some reason, not all of his other relatives.
* Perry the Platypus in ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''. He can't speak and does nothing but stand around on all fours whenever the kids are around, but when he sneaks away he lives a double life as a secret agent, as do most of the other animals who work at the Agency.
-->'''Major Monogram:''' Carl, remind me again why all our agents are animals?
* Gromit from ''Franchise/WallaceAndGromit''? Arguably he's more of a FunnyAnimal, but he's clearly more observant and more grounded in reality then his [[GeniusDitz smart]] but [[CloudCuckoolander spacey]] owner Wallace.
* This is apparently how animals work in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Total Drama|Island}}'' universe. They can apparently understand humans and do things like combine into a Raccoon mech.
* ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'': This trope makes animals even harder to spot since every character other than Jimmy and Heloise ([[AmbiguouslyHuman maybe]]) is a monster. In ''Jimmy and the Big House'' it seemed the only difference between animals and people is if they could talk. Cerbee (explicitly called a dog [[CallASmeerpARabbit despite looking nothing like one]] was intelligent enough to give an AsideGlance and such, while in one scene the others talked before Molotov [[AchievementsInIgnorance reminded him he couldn't]].
* {{WesternAnimation/Sagwa|TheChineseSiameseCat}} and her siblings can read Chinese characters and write calligraphy using their tails
* Justified in ''WesternAnimation/PolePosition.'' Through most of the series, Kuma's species was never identified (best guess would be some kind of lemur, maybe). In the last episode, we learn that Kuma is a genetically engineered life form bred by an eccentric scientist.
* Owlowiscious, Twilight Sparkle's pet owl in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', is extremely intelligent and a capable assistant librarian, and manages to save Spike from a full grown dragon.
** Practically all animals on the show are fully sapient and may exhibit civilized traits, even the ones who cannot talk. Fluttershy can communicate with them and treats them just like people.
* While ''{{WesternAnimation/Doug}}'' was one of the more realistic Creator/{{Nicktoons}}, Porkchop qualifies for this trope. Besides participating in EvenTheDogIsAshamed jokes, he could do things such as play Barnyard Chess, limbo dance, and fly a kite. Yet maybe only his owner can understand him, because in a court case no one else can decipher what he has to say.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'', TeamPet Snarf (a cat-dragon creature) cannot speak, but clearly comprehends speech, and has a grasp of the events around him, enough to become frightened when an enemy proposes that his owner Lion-O DuelToTheDeath.
* ''Lassie's Rescue Rangers'' is all over this. The eponymous Rangers include among others a skunk, a stork, a porcupine, a cougar, a hare, and of course Lassie herself; they lack dialogue, but otherwise are very intelligent, capable of complex planning and extremely high levels of cooperation.
* In ''{{WesternAnimation/Gawayn}}'', the quester's horse Griselda is shown at times to be able to understand what the characters around her are saying by her reactions. Sometimes, she is even seen doing things such as reading a newspaper.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Many of the problems inherent in trying to determine the intelligence of an animal species mirror the problems of trying to [[UsefulNotes/IQTesting measure the intelligence of a person]]: "What does "intelligent" even mean, and "How do you judge the difference between a creature following a set pattern of behavior and a creature simply taking an obvious MundaneSolution?"
** Many neurologists have begun to abandon the idea that brain size, or even ''relative brain size'', determines how intelligent an animal is: certain species of rodents have brain-to-body size ratios larger than that of humans, and some species display extreme intelligence despite having tiny brains (though moderately sized compared to their bodies). Recent research has suggested that what matters more than the size of the brain is the density of connections between neurons, and how much of the brain is devoted to higher level functions like cognition and memory.
** There have been studies showing that ''slime moulds'' can navigate mazes. Now, obviously, they don't have brains so they can't be intelligent in the way we understand it, but what it ''does'' mean is that there is far more to the issue of intelligence than being able to perform tricks on command.
** Many animals once considered less intelligent have been reevaluated in recent years with surprising results, mostly because of inadequate testing methods that essentially assumed AllAnimalsAreDogs. \\
\\
For instance, science once rated cats as fairly stupid creatures, as they repeatedly failed intelligence tests that other creatures like dogs, horses, and even rats easily solved. It took several decades to conclusively prove what cat owners had been telling scientists the whole time: cats were failing these tests not because they ''couldn't'' solve them, but because they didn't ''want'' to solve them. Cats are notoriously stubborn and prideful, and nearly all animal cognitive tests at the time involved training the animals to associate solving the tests with a food reward, or demonstrate word recognition and memory by performing behaviors on command. Eventually it was realized that cats simply [[FridgeBrilliance assumed (correctly) that the scientists would most likely feed them even if they did nothing]], and that while the cat remembered what it was supposed to do when told to "sit", it just plain didn't feel like sitting, and might have even stood up out of obstinance. Quite simply, cats had demonstrated their intelligence all along by successfully TakingAThirdOption that didn't require doing something stupid for a treat, got them fed anyway, and made the annoying guys with clipboards go bother the dogs, horses, and rats instead.
** Tool use is an interesting measure that is actually far less clearly defined than you might think. For example, some apes have been observed using sticks to reach into small holes for bugs and other food or even as basic spears. Many animals can be trained or otherwise taught to use human made devices. But while these traits certainly point towards an intelligence (rather than pure instinct), they don't necessarily prove sentience (self-awareness).
** One of the most common problems encountered in Animal Behavior research is there is a tendancy for [[MovingTheGoalposts the definition of "true intelligence" to be redefined]] when it is discovered that certain animals meet those criteria- in the past tool use, being able to anticipate another entities's actions, altruism and morality, forethought, and translatable proto-language have all been proven to be present in numerous species, then declared as insufficient to prove "true intelligence".
** Some animals that have immense strength were completely overlooked by the scientific community in terms of intelligence, because they can solve problems with brute force rather than with problem solving. Case and point, some species mantis shrimp can punch things as hard a 22. caliber bullet yet have a level of intelligence comparable to ''seven year old human.''
** Some philosophers have argued that the true measure of sentience is the ability to understand abstract concepts well enough to ask the question "why?". Of course, that means that barriers to communication may prevent us from being able to recognize true sentience in other creatures for now.
** The principal lesson to note here of course is that no two scientists or philosophers have ever been able to agree on what "sentience", "sapience" or "self-awareness" even ''are'' (besides intentionally vague gut-feeling words popularised by ''Star Trek''). The increasingly popular point of view is that there is in fact no such single property at all; whatever humans have is combinatorial, and exists in degrees.
* Koko the gorilla is capable of communicating with emotional nuance in American Sign Language.
** As well as use of the language in untaught, novel ways. For instance, she referred to a gorilla she strongly disliked as "bad toilet," among other names. She also invented terms for things, like "drink fruit" for watermelon. Scientists estimate Koko's IQ at around 70-95. If her IQ is 80, that makes her smarter than more than 9% of humans. They ''are'' intelligent, but not in a 100% "human" way. Tool use is just one thing that people like to fixate on.
** However, many other behavioral researchers don't think Koko is nearly as intelligent or communicative as her trainer (whose livelihood basically depends on it) claims, and people who actually know sign language who have watched video of Koko deny that she's really signing so much as mainly pointing at things.
* In an episode of the RealityShow ''It's Me Or The Dog'', super-intelligent dogs were featured, hilariously stealing the peanut butter as their trainer watched through hidden cameras.
* Goldfish -- you know, the ones with a "memory of three seconds" -- are social. Social animals generally evolve to be smarter than solitary animals. Goldfish can recognize faces and associate them and a few words ("Hi fishies!" for example) with food, post sentries when they have big enough schools in big enough tanks, and like watching TV. And they can learn tricks. It does take patience and they're not exactly bright, but they're not ambulatory plants by any means.
** ''Series/MythBusters'' did a segment on the alleged three-second memory of goldfish. The fish were able to perform tricks and navigate mazes months after they were taught.
* OlderThanTelevision with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clever_Hans Clever Hans]]. Domestic animals can be incredibly empathetic with humans. Note that current studies on animal cognition almost always involve extensive controls to avoid "the Clever Hans effect": for instance, tests are usually set up so that they receive as little cuing as possible (often the animal can't see or hear the examiner while they're figuring out the answer).
* There was a documentary on canine intelligence on TV a while ago, which centered on a Jack Russell who could do math (as it turned out, it was the same situation as with Clever Hans, with the dog reading his owner's body language). There was also a bit about some researchers that were studying dog intelligence and one of the experiments involved a touch screen and a treat dispenser. Images would be shown on the screen in random combinations and positions, with one 'positive' and one 'negative'. If the dog nosed the 'positive' image it got a treat, if it nosed the negative one it got nothing. Not only did the dogs quickly memorize which was which, but also when a new image was shown on screen with an established 'negative' one, the dog was able to instantly work out that the new image was 'positive'. It might not sound that impressive, but it proves that dogs are capable of reasoning, and fast reasoning at that, which a lot of people think to be beyond them.
** Some breeds are smarter then others. Lap dogs such as Shih Tzus, pugs, etc. are notoriously dim, but then you have breeds like German Shepherds and Border Collies which are smarter then some humans.
** That phrase "lap dogs" is the important one. Working breeds (anything named "shepherd", for instance) are smarter than breeds meant purely for companionship, because they were specifically bred to be smart enough to learn and follow commands; dumber breeds come from less selective programs that were usually focused on appearance rather than smarts.
* Cephalopods are geniuses. Octopodes can tell the difference between individual humans who interact with them, have hundreds of different moods and distinct personalities (which they reflect upon by changing their skin color) and can learn how to navigate mazes and open jars.
** Hell, octopodes understand the concept of deceit. One octopus managed to climb out of its tank, enter the crabs tank, eat the crabs--and then go ''back'' to its tank and [[ObfuscatingStupidity play dumb]].
** [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8408233.stm One species carries coconut shells around to hide in]].
** The mimic octopus- the closest thing on the planet to a Shapeshifter- appears to adopt different disguises based on the creatures around it, in a natural invocation of IKnowWhatYouFear and (highly effective) MobileShrubbery.
* Rats, for rodents, are very clever, being able to navigate mazes, (and how buttons and levers to get around them work), can learn by trial and error, and can be taught tricks. It's why they are often considered the ideal lab animal by behavioral science researchers. [[note]]Medical researchers tend ''not'' to consider cleverness a good trait in a lab animal, hence a tendency towards using mice instead.[[/note]] As noted on the subject of goldfish, part of this is because rats are highly social animals. This is also why they make such good pets; they can be litter trained, and learn to recognize humans as a food source and someone to play with- but they still need contact with other rats, so get two.
** Rats are one of the few nonhuman animals known to show clear signs of empathy. In one experiment, rats learned how to free a companion from a small cage. They continued to do so even when there was absolutely no benefit to themselves - no food reward, no signal for praise, and even in cases wherein the freed rat would be released into a different enclosure from the rescuer (so no playmate).
* Squirrels are the chief rivals of rats for the title of "smartest rodent", as demonstrated by their phenomenal ability to outsmart the protections people use for their birdfeeders and infiltrate even well-sealed attics.
* Orangutans are notorious [[http://www.counterpunch.org/hribal12162008.html escape artists.]] They've discovered how to scale electric fences, how to pick locks, and (possibly most importantly) how to hide efforts at the previous two things from zookeepers. Give an orangutan a screwdriver, and it will hide it, then dismantle its cage with it once you're gone. Recently, a few have even been [[http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57565393-37/orangutans-monkey-around-with-ipads-at-zoo/ taught how to use an iPad]].
* Reptiles. They may have smaller brains than mammals, but they're ''much'' more intelligent than we give them credit for. In the past, many attempts to gauge reptile intelligence came to the conclusion that they were [[TheDitz incredibly stupid]], but it turned out that this was only because reptiles see and evaluate the world differently from the way we mammals do. You can't train a snake to do something in the same way you can train a cat, because you need to understand how a snake's brain and senses make it perceive the world. More recent studies, reflecting on this idea, have shown that, among other things, corn snakes are able to navigate mazes, monitor lizards engage in play behavior and can distinguish numbers up to six, crocodiles learn faster than lab rats with little conditioning, and leopard geckos have distinct personalities. Smart, indeed.
** Here's a scary fact: reptiles have smaller brains than mammals yet are just as intelligent. Therefore, if a reptile and mammal had the same brain size, the reptile would be much smarter.
** [[http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/2012/09/17/amazing-social-life-of-green-iguana/ Green Iguana]] babies are very social with their hatchmates, forming pods to travel together which have leaders who seem to look out for the rest. When hawks show up, the smaller females freeze in cover or flee; the larger males run in front of the hawks or [[BigBrotherInstinct cover their sisters' bodies with their own]].
* [[ThreateningShark Sharks]]. Once thought of as mindless killing machines, they are now known to possess an intelligence close to that of the seals that they feed upon. Sharks will engage in play behavior and can eventually grow to recognize the humans who feed them.
* [[SapientCetaceans Dolphins]]. A 2009 assessment of their cognitive ability has classified them as ''[[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman non-human people]]''. Different pods of dolphins have their own ''dialects'' of echolocation communication, which serves as a limited language. Each pod has its own hunting strategies, which it passes down generation to generation by teaching their young how to do it. In particular, one famous pod of orcas near South America has learned how to catch sea lions by beaching themselves on the surf, while another has learned to use sponges as nose-guards while digging in abrasive sand. A study showed that dolphins have specific patterns of echolocation that are used to refer to individuals - in other words, they use ''names'' for each other.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_cognition Elephants]] are among the most solidly established candidates for Earth's runner-up most intelligent species. They have developed their own morality, and perform acts of altruism. There's a story about an elephant matriarch who charged a camel herder, broke his leg... and then carried him into the shade and stood guard over him. They can also use tools with their trunk, which acts as a hand. They are also one of only a few species that have demonstrated the ability to recognize their own reflection in a mirror, something most housecats fail to comprehend.
** They can also [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge seek revenge]]. In one recorded instance, after a group of humans killed its mate, an elephant killed the cattle on the humans' farm, because it knew that the humans ''liked'' the cattle. A less intelligent animal would just kill the humans. But this elephant decided to kill something that was ''close'' to the humans in the same way that they killed something that was ''close'' to it. CruelMercy at its finest.
** Many animals mourn dead friends and family members, but elephants have ''rituals'' around death. They bury their dead, in a way - and they sometimes bury dead ''humans'' in the same way. When encountering the bones of their own kind, elephants have frequently been observed to become reverently quiet, in some cases delicately handling the remains. If you wanted to feel even ''worse'' about poachers and the ivory trade, when many members of a herd are killed, the survivors are traumatized, and without elders around to model behavior and teach them to cope, young ones grow up violent.
* Scientists have known for a long time that monkeys possess the ability to understand fairly complex games and the idea of a fair trade, but they've recently discovered that not only do some species of monkeys recognize when they're being cheated, they are not in the least bit happy about it. In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KSryJXDpZo this video]], two monkeys are given disparate rewards for the same task. The monkey getting cucumber is perfectly happy with it until he realizes the second monkey is getting ''[[SeriousBusiness grapes]]''.
* A study involving monkeys showed that males were willing to trade in fruit juice (both a currency and a much-loved treat) for photographs of a female's backside. This shows 1) that they understand the concept of prioritization, and 2) that they recognize flat projections for what they represent. Among other things, obviously.
* Raccoons are very intelligent, and have humanlike hands they can pick things up with. It should be noted that raccoons are derived from a common ancestor of bears, cats and dogs, and possess attributes of all of them. They have been known to unlock doors, open jars, and steal things the find interesting. Groups of raccoons will often scheme together to get food. If a human decides to feed a raccoon he will often come back to the place it happened at the same time the following day, and may well bring some of his friends with him. [[note]]These groups can get very large depending on how many friends the raccoon has told about the food source.[[/note]] If the person who gave them food has done so for a while and happens not to be home one day, it's not uncommon for raccoons to try to break in, and help themselves. Raccoons can be domesticated to an extent; they can be trained to clap and fetch things, unlock doors, and open jars. When kept as pets alongside other animals, they clearly enjoy teasing dogs and cats.
* Parrots are highly intelligent- flocks of parrots in the wild develop rudimentary languages that vary between flocks, and many domestic parrots learn to ask for their favorite foods. While not quite [[PollyWantsAMicrophone smart enough to carry on a full conversation]], Polly may indeed ask for a cracker, not to mention cuss at you with a general understanding of the concept if you don't have any. A certain African Grey parrot, Alex, was trained by Dr. Irene Pepperberg at Brandeis University to count up to six, correctly identify the type, color, material and shape of objects, and was showing a basic grasp of abstract concepts like what was "same" or "different" about two shapes by the time he died. He could even suss out trick questions (asking "What's different?" about two identical shapes got a response of "None"). According to Irene Pepperberg's research, some parrots and other psittaciform birds can be taught to speak simple English intelligibly instead of mindlessly repeating words.
** Highlights of the parrot world include the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kea kea]], a mountain-dwelling parrot from New Zealand. Flocks have been known to happily take apart the cars of inattentive skiers, and [[http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Philosophy/Morality/Speciesism/2ParrotWarningStories.htm a parrot]] who saved the life of a baby by screaming, flapping his wings, and saying "mama baby" over and over until the babysitter realized the baby was choking.
** Alex the grey parrot was a bit of a spectacle in his life due to how well he learned not only language, but concepts. He's also the only animal ever recorded to ask an existential question: while learning about colors, he asked what color he was. It's how he learned the color grey.
* [[CleverCrows Corvids, especially ravens]] are also ''incredibly'' intelligent, to the point of rivaling elephants and dolphins for the title of 2nd most intelligent animal on Earth. Experiments that they are highly social creatures with a rudimentary, ''translatable'', language[[note]]with "words" for different situations, nouns, and adjectives- "dog", "big scary dog", "several dogs", "dog stealing my stash"[[/note]] capable of formulating long term plans, MacGyvering novel tools to solve unfamiliar problems, and planing and executing complex {{Batman Gambit}}s based on their observations of other animals- including humans and their [[XanatosSpeedChess fellow ravens]]. They can also reason about [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow what humans and other ravens are aware of]]- for instance, being ProperlyParanoid while doing the raven equivalent of looking up and whistling around a raven who saw them hiding a stash, then [[KansasCityShuffle feigning protectiveness]] about a [[NothingToSeeHere random pile of leaves]].
** Crows in Japan and California have been seen using passing cars to crack walnuts; seagulls have been witnessed doing the same, but with clams and the like. They even go to traffic crossings and only deposit and retrieve the nuts when it's safe.
** Thanks to the massive influx of vending machines Japan has built, crows have actually figured out by watching us that if you put spare change in (though they haven't figured out how much) and press a button, food will come out. That's right, crows in Japan ''know how to use a vending machine.''
** Among other things, adult ravens have been shown to be able to solve simple physics problems (they'd be great at ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}})''. In a CrowningMomentOfFunny, some appear to not like pulleys, however: apparently pulling something ''down'' to make something else come ''up'' is both InsaneTrollLogic and [[ClarkesThirdLaw vile human sorcery]].
** They can also learn from each other. In one experiment, two ravens were given a hole with some food and a piece of wire each; one got a wire that had been bent into a hook, while the other got a useless straight wire. The one with the hook quickly figured out that he could use the wire to fish the food out of the hole, but the other one topped him when noticed that ''his'' hook was not a hook at all, and bent his wire into an identical tool before going after the food.
** They're also pretty good at planning ahead. Studies show that when food is tied to a perch, other, less bright birds will try to fly away with it, while corvids will drop the food because they know they can come back later.
** Ravens recruit other ravens to help them when they have found a good food source. When the discoverer returns to the roost (one in Newborough, Anglesey is one of the largest in Europe, 6000 birds at least.) in the evening, it will take part in displays and stunts with other birds (Ravens love to play and show off their aerobatic skills). He will have the energy to be more elaborate and longer-lasting than other birds, who will see this, recognize that he has fed well, and roost in the same tree as him, following him in the morning when he returns to the food. This way, he has a big mob of allies to protect the food source from competitors until they have picked it clean. Other species of ravens and corvids that form smaller, more tight-knit flocks will communicate via calls when they find something of interest or are in need of backup.
* Predators in general. A need to outsmart their prey means that no matter what type of animal they are, they are all intelligent, often frighteningly so. It is no coincidence that most of the animals on this page are predators or descended from predators. The most terrifying example is the fact marine predators (fish and cetaceans especially) can often communicate ''across different species'' in order to join forces in a coordinated assault on prey.

[[/folder]]
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