7 Animals That Have Consciousness, According to Scientists

For a very long time, human sees themselves as the only conscious living being on the earth, but as science progresses, we have come to understand more about animals, intelligence, and the behavior of other living creatures.

And in this article, we have listed animals that have consciousness, and we will also mention why they are conscious.

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Great Apes

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The Hominidae whose members are known as great apes or hominids is a taxonomic family of primates that includes eight extant species in four genera: orangutan; Gorilla, chimpanzee, and  Homo, of which only modern humans remain.

Primates have high levels of cognition; some make tools and use them to acquire foods and for social displays; some have sophisticated hunting strategies requiring cooperation, influence, and rank; they are status-conscious, manipulative, and capable of deception; they can recognise kin and conspecifics; they can learn to use symbols and understand aspects of human language including soma.


Scientists now have preliminary evidence that elephants are indeed self-aware, overturning previous findings. To determine whether an animal has a sense of self, researchers first place a mark on an animal’s body that it can identify only with the help of a mirror.

Elephants manifest a wide variety of behaviors, including those associated with grief, learning, mimicry, play, altruism, use of tools, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, memory, and communication. Further, evidence suggests elephants may understand pointing: the ability to nonverbally communicate an object by extending a finger, or equivalent.

Killer Whales

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The killer whale or orca (Orcinus orca) is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. It is recognizable by its black-and-white patterned body.

Killer whales have the second-heaviest brains among marine mammals (after sperm whales, which have the largest brain of any animal). They can be trained in captivity and are often described as intelligent, although defining and measuring “intelligence” is difficult in a species whose environment and behavioral strategies are very different from those of humans.

People who have interacted closely with killer whales offer numerous anecdotes demonstrating the whales’ curiosity, playfulness, and ability to solve problems. Alaskan killer whales have not only learned how to steal fish from longlines but have also overcome a variety of techniques designed to stop them, such as the use of unbaited lines as decoys.

Once, fishermen placed their boats several miles apart, taking turns retrieving small amounts of their catch, in the hope that the whales would not have enough time to move between boats to steal the catch as it was being retrieved.

Grey parrots

African grey parrots are highly intelligent and are considered by many to be one of the most intelligent species of psittacines. Many individuals have been shown to perform at the cognitive level of a four- to a six-year-old human child in some tasks. 

A number of studies have been conducted with African Greys, indicating a slew of higher-level cognitive abilities. Experiments have shown that grey parrots can learn number sequences and can learn to associate human voices with the faces of the humans who create them.


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Corvids display remarkable intelligence for animals of their size and are among the most intelligent birds thus far studied. Specifically, members of the family have demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests (European magpies) and tool-making ability, skills which until recently were thought to be possessed only by humans and a few other higher mammals. 
Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of non-human great apes and cetaceans, and only slightly lower than that of humans.


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Octopuses have a high level of intelligence. Experiments with mazes and problem solving have revealed indications of a memory system capable of storing both short- and long-term memory. It is unknown exactly what role learning plays in adult octopus behaviour. Adults provide little parental care other than tending to their eggs until the young octopuses hatch, so young octopuses learn nothing from their parents.

Octopuses can be easily trained to distinguish between different forms and patterns in laboratory tests. Although the veracity of these studies is disputed, they have been found to practise observant learning. Octopuses have also been recorded engaging in “play,” which involves repeatedly releasing bottles or toys into a circular current in their tanks and then collecting them.


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Dog intelligence is the dog’s ability to perceive information and retain it as knowledge for applying to solve problems. Studies of two dogs suggest that dogs can learn by inference and have advanced memory skills.

Deception by dogs demonstrates a theory of mind. An experimental study found compelling evidence that Australian dingoes outperform domestic dogs in non-social problem-solving, implying that domestic dogs may have lost most of their innate problem-solving talents when they became tethered to humans.

Another study revealed that after undergoing training to solve a simple manipulation task, dogs faced with an insoluble version of the same problem look at the human, while socialized wolves do not.


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