10 Animals with Extraordinary Memory Skills

Human beings are the most intelligent among all the animals on the earth, right? We have made such wonderful progresses in the field of science and technology; we use the internet like our slaves. Yet, despite all of these advancements, we are not the best.

Yes, my friends, there are other candidates lining up in the animal kingdom who are far better than us in many different ways. And “memory” is certainly one of those qualities.

There are plenty of such animals whose memories are so sharp that men can never compete with them in this aspect. So by now you have actually understood that’s what we are going to talk about in this article.

Here is a list of 10 animals with extraordinary memory skills that you will surely like to know. So let us just jump into it without further rambling.

Animals with Extraordinary Memory Skills:

1. Elephant: This majestic animal certainly tops our list. Research says that they never forget a face they have seen. And more surprisingly elephants can keep track of 30 individuals at one time. Incredible, but fact. They can create a mental map in their brain and locate the position of other friends. The fun part of the story is that they do this keeping in mind the scent of the pee.


By the scent of urine they record the position of other family members in their brain. So breaking up into several small groups and socializing is much easier for them because they do not worry about getting lost in the woods. Not only that, elephants can remember human beings also. They remember human abusers several years afterwards and they do not really like the smell of those tribes who sometimes slaughter them. Study says.

2. Horse: This strong and sport loving mammal owns an excellent memory. Many horse owners have claimed that their old pets remember them even after several years of separation. Now research also backs up their claims. Horses also live making their own community and they have a strong capacity to remember other family members.


The pet horses who live in captivity also share strong bonding with their masters and after a long period of separation, they kind of remember their old human friend.

3. Dolphin: This marine mammal wins the award of ‘having longest memory’ in the animal kingdom. We are sorry, ‘elephants’! According to studies, Bottlenose dolphins remember other dolphins even after 20 years of separation by their whistles. Like we all have our individual names, dolphins use unique whistles that actually works like names. This allows them to keep tight social bonds. So we can say dolphins have the ‘longest social memory’ among the non-human beings.


4. Chimpanzee: We already know that how much intelligent these chimps are. And they are not far behind in terms of memory quality. They are the owners of startling photographic memory that is visual memory. They remember every little detail of an image even if they just had a glimpse of that image. They have the capability to memorize almost every number shown on screen or on a card instantly and even if you shorten the time they get to look at those numbers, their skill does not get hampered.


Human beings certainly show the decline of memory after some time, but the chimps are no doubt better at memorizing things even after a long time off they actually visualized those things.

5. Sea lion: The trainers, who have spent years after years with this second friendliest lion, admitted that this marine creature has an excellent long term memory. They can understand the concept of ‘sameness’. The scientists at the University of California were able to teach a sea lion named Rio this concept.


At first, the sea lion was shown one symbol and then he was provided with two cards, one having that similar symbol and the other having some different symbols and he was smart enough to identify the previously shown symbol. Sea lions are capable of identifying numbers and letters. According to the scientists, sea lions use their excellent memory power to identify prey that may only encounter once every few years.

6. Whale

Like dolphins, whales are also cetaceans. They behave in various ways suggesting intelligence and mental sophistication. Unlike many members of the animal kingdom, individual whales can learn from memory. Moreover, they can pass what they have learned to their offspring and companions.

Whales are distinct from other animals because they have enormous brains. A big chunk of this organ is dedicated to echolocation. Echolocation is the capability that allows these mammals to sense their environment using sound.

In addition, whales have spindle neurons, which are special brain cells associated with recognizing, reasoning, remembering, perceiving, communicating, and adapting to change. These cells also enable whales to understand and solve problems.

A critical application of memory is that whales depend on it to search for and exploit resources. In a study about whale migrations, whales have been following the concentration of nutrients, phytoplankton, and krill.

Finally, whales have a much more complex limbic system than humans. It is the part of the brain that processes emotions.

7. Dog

When it comes to memories, humans and dogs share similar mental functionality up to a certain extent. If you have had dogs for some time, you already know they can remain loyal and will remember you for the rest of their lives. Dogs are not called man’s best friends for nothing.

However, they are not capable of retaining long-term memory. They can imitate human actions repeatedly on command, but their memory of the actions declines the more time goes by.

In other experiments, results have also proven that canine intelligence varies depending on the dog breed. Experts share this list of the five most intelligent dog breeds based on obedience and working intellect:

  • Border Collie – Descended from British Isles’ landrace sheepdogs
  • Poodles – The national dog of France, but first originated in Germany
  • German Shepherd – German working dogs
  • Golden Retriever – Scottish retriever dogs
  • Doberman Pinscher – German working dog

8. Parrot

So far, we’ve only discussed land and marine mammals, so what about birds? With more than 11,000 identified and described species, some birds are bound to have good brains. Parrots, also known as psittacines, are at the top of the list, with about 398 species.

These birds hail primarily from the tropics and subtropics. They have a curved bill, clawed feet, strong legs, and an upright posture.

Unlike other bird species, parrots can use their beaks and necks as a third limb with forces greater than those generated by primates’ forelimbs. This type of locomotion is called tripedalism.

Of course, we should also talk about the mental capacity of parrots. Parrots are the cleverest of birds because they possess brains that have evolved like human brains. The genes that helped develop their brains have the same design as those in human brains.

Because of this similarity, parrots are highly capable of perception and a certain level of comprehension. That said, of all the species of parrots, which ones are the most intelligent? Many lists provide variable rankings, but the following always hit the mark:

  • Kea – Crafty forager from New Zealand
  • African Grey Parrot – Mimics human speech and rivals the intelligence of five-year-old children
  • Macaw – Social, playful, comical, and affectionate birds from South and Central America; vocalizes by mimicking sounds and human speech
  • Cockatoo – Extremely social birds from Australia and Southeast Asia; with endearing personalities and excellent speaking abilities
  • Amazon Parrot – Vocally talented, affectionate, and playful bird from Central and South America; supreme talking ability

9. Crow

Crows belong to the family of corvids, the same as ravens, jays, and rooks. This bird has an intelligence rating attributed to problem-solving and tool-making. In addition, crows can consider future events and the perception of other individuals.

Crows are one of the few animals that can recall human faces. They can reason and understand causality, and they can figure counts up to five.

It is believed that crows possess a level of consciousness. Using simple behavioral tasks, researchers have discovered that crows can rival primates when it comes to intelligence. In one experiment, researchers found that crows can form episodic memory and recall specific events.

They allowed the corvids to collect and hide certain foods in various hiding spots and then retrieve the same after some time. Some of the foods were perishable, while others weren’t.

The results were mesmerizing. The birds knew what they had hidden where, and when they had stowed them. That became apparent because the birds knew which foods to consume first.

10. Squirrel

All rodents have a certain level of intellect that has helped them to adapt and survive for millions of years. However, the squirrel is the creature that tops the list.

Mice and rats can outmaneuver humans, but squirrels have the cleverness and quickness that help them outwit even scarier predators.

Of all the animals we could watch in their daily activities, the squirrel is perhaps the most interesting when it comes to muscle memory.

In fact, humans have made plenty of outdoor obstacle courses and puzzles for squirrels to prove this theory. This memory gives them the advantage of navigating unpredictable paths safely and escaping predation.

Moreover, squirrels can recall where they stow or bury food even after an extended duration. This trait signifies they have exceptional long-term memories, which is essential for foraging nuts and seeds every autumn.

There Are Plenty of Amazingly Smart Species

Although we take pride of being the smartest and most dominating, intelligent species in the world, there are some mammals, rodents, birds, reptiles that are having outstanding qualities like excellent memory or vision or speed.

We just noticed 10 such wonderful animals with extraordinary memory skills. There are many more actually like the cats, the octopuses etc. A cat’s short-term memory is just 20 times longer than us. Consider the octopuses. This invertebrate has a developed short and long term memory. So, men don’t always boast of your powers, give these friends a big round of applause also.