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Can Animals Think? Essay

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Updated: Aug 5th, 2020

We live on the planet characterized by the extreme diversity of species and landscapes. There are thousands of animals which surround us and nature might surprise a person every day, presenting new unique phenomena. Besides, in the process of evolution, only one certain kind of animals was able to obtain clear mechanisms of communication and thinking which resulted in the appearance of a complex society and sophisticated system of interaction between different individuals. We obviously talk about human beings as for the long time they had been taken as the only animals which could think.

However, at the moment the rapid evolution of science and increased level of attention given to the investigation of animals introduced another idea which states that other species might also have the ability to think and perform complex actions which are motivated not only by instincts. The question still remains doubtful; however, the discovery of this very ability might change the world greatly.

Besides, we know numerous species that are characterized by complex and sophisticated relations within a group or between the representatives of different individuals. This fact could be used as the evidence to the statement that animals might have the ability to think to interact with each other, share information, and align the efficient cooperation. One could hardly believe that a certain animal behaves in one or another way just because of the instinct which determines a certain mode of life and way of behavior.

It is much more likely that an animal unit acts in one or another way because it realizes the fact that this action might result in the alteration of the current state and improved final outcomes. For this reason, we could assume that animals obviously have to possess the ability to think to survive, cooperate, and foresee different dangers. We could analyze the behavior of certain creatures to understand the motifs that impact them.

For instance, the way mimic octopus responds to a threat, and some peculiarities of its behavior often astonish scientists as these actions could be described as extremely intelligent. It is able to impersonate other species and change the color and texture of its skin to blend with the environment (“Amazing Octopus”). We could see that in case there is any sign of threat, this very animal responds in a moment and alters the manner of its behavior (“Amazing Octopus”).

Considering this fact, we could say that it proves mimic octopus ability to think. The animal not just acts instinctively; however, it analyzes the manner of behavior of another animal unit and uses it to escape and remain alive. This process is more complex than just an instinct. Additionally, some other peculiarities of its behavior could also prove the existence of a certain conscience which helps this very animal to survive.

Crow is another animal that could be used as an example of great mental capabilities peculiar to representatives of the animal world. The majority of people who closely interact with these birds admit the fact that they obviously understand what people say and are able to respond in an appropriate way (“Genius Bird”). Additionally, they are able to remember and reproduce different actions which could be later used to gain a certain advantage of benefit (“Genius Bird”).

There are also several facts which state that crows were able to learn a list of words and use them in an appropriate context (“Genius Bird”). These points obviously evidence that there is a certain level of thinking peculiar to crows. They do not just behave in a way preconditioned by instincts, but they have all unique individualities that result in the appearance of different behavioral patterns.

Speaking of animals which could be considered intelligent ones, we could not but mention leaf cutter ants. The fact is that their size leaves them no choice but to interact to attain success and survive. For this reason, we could observe that they closely cooperate to carry big objects to their ant hills. A torrent of ants moves together and transports green leaves from one place to another, demonstrating unique skills and improved mutual understanding (“Leafcutter Ants”).

These actions could not be explained by some primitive behaviors. Ants obviously have to interact to be able to create the approach which will be used when transporting one object or another. Additionally, they work under different circumstances and have to communicate to analyze new setting. That is why looking at the way they work, we could obviously admit the presence of a certain thought.

Lyrebird is another representative of aves characterized by unique behavior. This very animal unit is able to copy other sounds and even voices. For a long period of time scientists were not able to determine the main reasons for this mechanism and lyrebird just sounded strange to them. However, at the moment there are several theories related to this phenomenon and one of them states that it is an attempt to communicate with creatures that surround the bird (“Not Your Average Bird Brain”). The ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds also demands a specific way of thinking as only detailed analysis of every sound could make it possible. For this reason, we could conclude that lyrebird should be able to think to perform this very action and copy sounds that it could hear.

Finally, dolphins are the most powerful example that could be used to prove the great intelligence of animals and their ability to communicate, analyze a certain situation, and apply the new knowledge. Dolphins are also social creatures, and they communicate in their groups just for fun or sharing specific information. Additionally, they are characterized by the complex behavior which is peculiar only to human beings. Dolphins support each other and provide assistance in case a representative of their kind is endangered. These mammals also have their unique voices and this fact means that they are able to distinguish them (“Dolphins”).

Besides, all these facts evidence that dolphins are extremely smart mammals characterized by outstanding mental capabilities. We still have much to discover about their mysterious nature and dolphins will obviously surprise us again.

Altogether, looking on the above-mentioned animals and the way they behave, we could conclude that there are several facts that could be used to prove great mental capabilities peculiar to animals. They obviously have complex behavioral patterns, and that is why the need for thinking appears. The majority of species has to analyze the situation and choose the only response that will be able to help to escape danger and remain alive. The ability to think could also be related to their survival needs as only in case animal units cooperate within groups, they will be able to survive and continue their evolution.

Works Cited

“Amazing Octopus – Most Intelligent Animal on Earth?” YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic. 2016. Web.

YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic. 2016. Web.

YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic. 2008. Web.

YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic. 2009. Web.

YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic. 2016. Web.

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"Can Animals Think?" IvyPanda, 5 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/can-animals-think/.

1. IvyPanda. "Can Animals Think?" August 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/can-animals-think/.


IvyPanda. "Can Animals Think?" August 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/can-animals-think/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Can Animals Think?" August 5, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/can-animals-think/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Can Animals Think'. 5 August.

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