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9 of the smartest animals on Earth

rat leaping from trash can

Photo: ZUMA Press

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Rats

Rats get a bad rap. Perceived as purveyors of disease, Rattus norvegicus have earned a bad reputation, but they are highly intelligent creatures. As researchers at the University of Guelph in Ontario point out, “Although rats may not approach cognitive tasks using strategies observed in human subjects, they are frequently successful on their own terms. Indeed, rats are adept at exploiting procedural loopholes and confounded variables overlooked by human test designers.”