Who’s Smarter? Raven or Crow?

  • Common raven (photo from Wikimedia)

25 July 2023

Scientists say that the smartest animals have large brains and have become so intelligent because their lifestyles force them to solve complex ecological (ex: food, habitat) and social problems (ex: long-term social bonds that may include absences).

Ravens and crows both have large brains relative to their body size and both are good at problem solving. The Raven Diaries (@theravendiaries) takes a look at which species acts smarter and why.

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So which one is smarter? It’s a hard call between crows and ravens.

Crows understand the concept of zero and know that 0 precedes 1, a feat that beats small humans.

Ravens were tested against chimps and came up equally intelligent: Young Ravens Rival Adult Chimps in a Big Test of General Intelligence. They were also equal if not better at “theory of mind,” the ability to imagine what others are thinking: Ravens have paranoid, abstract thoughts about other minds.

For example, this video shows two ravens guessing what the other is thinking and act accordingly.

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Kaeli Swift of Corvid Research is often asked if ravens are smarter than [you-name-it] animal. Here’s the long answer.

(credits are in the captions)

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