ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Ocean's Smartest Animals

Updated on May 31, 2017

A lot of us have the preconceived notion that humans are the smarter species to inhabit this earth. We can walk, we can talk, we play sports, we build robots, we cure diseases; the list goes on and on. However, there are several other animals out there that could surely give us a run for our money. Some of them living in the deep blue sea. Here are a few animals of the ocean that are just as intelligent as they are fascinating.


Bottlenose Dolphins

The intelligence of dolphins has been on display for human entertainment in movies and zoos for many years. So, it should be no surprise that they hold a place on this prestigious list. Dolphins have one of the largest brains of all animals on our planet. Their brains are even slightly larger than the human brain, weighing in at 1,500 grams compared to our 1,200 grams. Large and complex, the brain of a dolphin provides the mammal with the ability to perform several tasks and even tricks.

Through many years of study, scientists have been able to conclude that bottlenose dolphins have multiple similarities to humans. They have proven to be self aware; not only having the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror, but they also have been seen purposely checking themselves out. Another similarity would be their "language". You may be familiar with the cackling-like sounds they make when interacting with humans but underwater they communicate with other dolphins by emitting a high-pitched whistling sound. Recent studies have shown that this communication is far more than meets the eye. It turns out that dolphins actually have a unique whistle for each of their fellow dolphins. This indicates that dolphins, like us, have names for each other.


A few other observations have revealed that dolphins mimic the movements of other animals and humans, place sea sponges on their snouts to protect them when scavenging for food on the sea floor, and have excellent memory and cognitive abilities.



Octopuses are considered to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates. Not only do they have the largest brain of them all but more than half of an octopus' neurons are also located in it's tentacles. Which pretty much gives each one a brain of it's very own. In a study, a tentacle that was cut from an octopus' body not only crawled away but also captured a food item all on it's own. Needless to say, the octopus is a very impressive species.

One thing they are notorious for is camoflauge. An octopus can change the color and pattern of it's skin instantly to match it's surroundings. But this camoflauge isn't just limited to the skin, it also involves it's entire structure. The octopus has been observed morphing itself into the shapes of other sea creatures, coral, and even moving rocks. The latter it does by changing the shape of it's body and moving across the ocean floor at the pace and motion of the reflecting light. This allows the octopus to move in plain view of a predator without being attacked.

Speaking of protecting itself from predators, the octopus also uses "tools" to hide. For example, an octopus will carry around a stray coconut and when it feels itself in danger, will crack it open with it's strong grip and quickly crawl inside.

However, the octopus is as bold as it is stealth. They have been known by fisherman to board onto their boats, open the crab holds, and eat the feast inside; further proving their intelligence.


Scientific experiments have also revealed that octopuses have great short-term and long-term memory; being able to distinguish between different shapes and patterns, navigate mazes, and problem solve.

Sea Lion

Like dolphins, sea lions are heavily used to perform tricks for our entertainment. They are easily trained; some people affectionately calling them "the dogs of the sea". However, humans have also used their smarts for more important things, such as helping the U.S. military. The United States Navy has trained sea lions for many years to guard ships, sweep mines, and detain scuba divers in restricted areas. It is even reported that they have been trained to attach restraints on swimmers.


In the laboratory, studies have shown that sea lions have the ability to solve IQ test problems, identify letters and numbers, and think logically. They also have amazing long-term memory, being able to recall what they've learned years later.

Sea lions also have the remarkable ability to learn sign language.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)