Animals are not so different from humans. They take care of their young, build shelters and create families. For example, elephants live in herds and take care of their young until they reach a certain age.
Have you ever wondered if animals have emotions like us? Do they get sad about losing a friend or feel excitement after seeing a long time friend?
Scientists have discovered that a few species of animals display emotions, empathy and even emotional intelligence. They are able to manage and understand feelings that allow animals to build strong relationships with each other. This is called emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and understand your emotions and the emotions of others. Although some animals might not express emotional intelligence like humans, they are still capable.
Our wildlife conservation and zoo biology want to share with you three animals with emotional intelligence and how they display this kind of intelligence.
Elephants are considered to be one of the most intelligent animals. African and Asian elephants have large and well-developed brains. Their large brains have around three billion neurons, which is three times more than humans.
Their large brains have led them to have a similar sense of self like humans. They are some of the few animals who can recognize themselves in mirrors. Elephants show their emotional intelligence through the sense of touch.
Wildlife conservation and zoo biology researchers have found that elephants show consolation behavior when other elephants are distressed by using soothing vocalization and gestures with their trunks. Not to mention, elephants also mourn the death of friends and family members. Not many other animals display this emotion.
In the oceans, dolphins have some of the largest brains. The sperm whale is noted to have the largest. Although dolphins may not have the most massive brain, they are some of the most intelligent marine animals.
Dolphins' large brains allow them to have intellectual abilities like complex communication and build relationships. Scientists have discovered that if humans train dolphins, they can be taught to recognize symbols.
The intelligence of a dolphin has made them capable of emotional intelligence. Researchers found that dolphins live in family groups and form strong bonds. Just like elephants, dolphins also grieve the death of friends and family.
Chimpanzees are part of the great ape family. They might not have the brain size of humans, but they are intelligent creatures for the wild kingdom. Scientists have discovered that chimpanzees are capable of problem-solving, using tools and have complex communication skills.
How intelligent are they? Well, researchers have been able to teach chimpanzees sign language. These animals also display emotional intelligence showing empathy to other species.
There was an experiment conducted by Yerkes National Primate Research Center, where a fence separated two chimpanzees, and only one was given food. Researchers discovered that more than half the time, the chimpanzee with food shared its food with the other.
Help wildlife conservation and zoo biology
Elephants are intelligent creatures that are able to display emotional intelligence. However, in some zoos, these animals are not self-sustaining.
At For Elephants, we are conducting research to help determine the best conservation for elephants. Help us continue our research with a generous donation.