Top 16 Smartest Animals in the World

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Rat

Rats are rodents found all around the world (apart from Antarctica).

Rats Are Self-Aware

Just like dolphins and primates, rats have metacognition.This is the ability to be aware of their own knowledge. They can also have a range of feelings, like stress, remorse and excitement.

Rats Experience Empathy and Remorse

In a famous experiment from 1958, rats were only fed if they electrocuted a fellow rat by pulling a lever.

The rats didn’t want to do this to their “friends”, even if it meant that they didn’t get fed.

Rats Can Smell Land Mines and Bacteria

Rats have such an unusual nose that they can smell bombs and land mines. They have become indispensable lifesavers when it comes to land mines, as dogs might be able to smell just as well but are heavier and would set off the land mines.

Rats can also smell the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (a serious infectious disease).

Rat Rat - Photo: Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock