BBC’s list of class of 09 Clever Animals

In the spirit of the year that was, the BBC has published a list of animal species showing cognitive abilities and well cleverness not expected in just mere creatures of the animal world. There are details and photos of these clever animals (and one plant) at the link as well as links to more details about each of this years notables from Nature.

Species listed on the Smart/clever list:

Albatross — we are treated to the world from the point of view of Albatross, thanks to the Albatross cam.

Octopus and Coconuts

Female birds like smart males or find smart males sexy.

Spider builds a decoy as part of its web.

Aesop’s fables is validated by rook (related to crows of the Aesop’s fable).

Eagles are filmed hunting reindeer. And some “experts” dismissed the fears of small pet owners and large predator birds. Sometimes paranoia has a basis in fact.

There is a plant in the Amazon that fools predators by looking like a sick plant.

Chimps are born with music appreciation ability — they didn’t need to take that college course in music appreciation.

Blue tits (that’s a British bird species) uses fragrant plants (called aroma therapy by humans) to line their nests.

Chimps hold a map of the forest in their brains — mind mapping their environment. They can locate individual trees and branches using their “mind maps”.


This is the Thursday Animal Behavior feature. The upcoming Animal Behavior feature will be a book review of “Alex & Me” by Irene Pepperberg. Alex was an African Gray Parrot who taught the world about bird brain — intelligence.


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