Films featuring animals, such as the Planet of the Apes series, suggest that an ape’s intellect is similar to a human’s intellect. However, there is no talk about ravens. When you categorize animals by their intelligence, you tend to measure the size of their brains. Interestingly, despite the tiny brains ravens have, they are incredibly intelligent.
According to Sweden’s Lund University, ravens seem to plan for the future. Zoologist Mathias Osvath and graduate student Can Kabadayi performed a puzzle experiment with five ravens. They taught the ravens how to obtain food from the puzzle box by using a specific tool. Then, the researchers decided to go up a notch.
Mathias and Can presented a variety of options to choose from a puzzle box. Around 15 minutes later, the ravens assembled the puzzle box and selected the right tool to open the box. Again, Mathias and Can brought this to the next level.
The researchers taught ravens how to barter a token for a treat. Then they presented the ravens with an array of options, most of them considered “distractions.” One tempting option was a small treat, but another option that the ravens could choose was a token, which they could later use to barter for a bigger treat. The ravens all chose the token, which supports the claim: ravens demonstrate self-control skills.
Indeed, not all ravens are as intellectual as the ravens that were tested, but in general, ravens are smarter than most mammals in the world.