Find out what animals have an impressive memory.

Seven animals that have good memory

We’ve all heard the saying “an elephant never forgets”, but do they really never forget? Or do they just have a really good memory? Other animals have exceptional memory as well, find out if elephants have the best memory or if others debunk this saying. Our zoo wildlife conservation team has put together a list of the animals with the best memories!

What animals have a good memory?


To be the smartest animal on the planet, you also have to have some pretty amazing memory! These aquatic animals are able to recognize the whistles of fellow dolphins even after 20 plus years of being separated. A dolphin whistle is unique and serves as a name for each dolphin which helps them be located and create bonds. Dolphins have also been discovered to have the longest memory compared to species other than humans. 


When migrating, whales rely on their memory to remember where to go. In order to find your way through the vast ocean, you have to have a good memory. Whales will travel the same routes when it comes time to migrate to the south in the wintertime. 


Octopuses have short-term and long-term memory. They are able to recognize individuals and remember survival skills in stressful situations. Octopuses are known for having eight legs, and each leg surprisingly has its own memory! This means that they each have their own reaction time according to their surroundings and situations.


It turns out that elephants have a great memory, but they can forget just like we can. Elephants are able to remember where food and water have been found, which is a big factor in why they live long lives. Elephants also have a memory of others who have hurt them or negatively impacted them. They hold grudges and react negatively to certain sights and smells.


Dogs are able to recognize their owners and recall tricks and how to behave. After being lost for a period of time some dogs are able to find their way home. Their associative memory skills aid them in remembering people, places, and experiences.


Monkeys and apes are able to remember forms and signs. They have been able to be taught hand gestures and signs to communicate with humans. They have also shown us that they might have a form of photographic memory.


Parrots can live up to 80 years, which is a lot of things to remember. They have the capacity to remember people for a long time. Parrots are also able to remember a long list of words and distinguish when to use them at the right time and the meaning of the word.  These birds are able to store information and understand it to a certain level.

Zoo wildlife conservation

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