Most human beings regard homo sapiens as the most intelligent, most adaptive and the most resourceful species. Problem-solving is something one uses every day and creativity surrounds everyone, everywhere. However, considering the human race as superior and other species as inferior generally goes hand-in-hand. We view everyone except ourselves in the animal kingdom as having a linear thought process, following the same routine every day, but they encounter many different challenges as well in their lifetime, especially as the environment constantly changes. Therefore, they must use creative and innovative ideas to overcome natural or artificial barriers, whether it is using tools from their surroundings, finding methods to acquire food easily or building a more protected and comfortable shelter than they had before.
To begin with, creativity is to utilize new and imaginative ways to either communicate an idea or solve a problem, which is something that animals face too. Therefore, they are also bound to use completely unexpected, out-of-the-way methods to surpass an obstacle. With an increase in the global population, there has been and continues to be, an increase in the amount of waste produced. That waste is discarded into the oceans where it harms and damages the habitats of our marine life. However, dolphins, being as smart as they are, found a way out of this. Some bottlenose dolphins started wearing a sponge on their beaks to protect them from the pieces of garbage that litter the oceans as well as from rocks and pieces of coral on the sea floor. Other dolphins witnessed this technique and mimicked it. Simultaneously, there is a species of monkeys called macaques monkeys that use various devices to not just overcome a challenge, but to increase their standard of living. These monkeys pull people’s hair and use it to floss their teeth. This is very interesting because monkeys would not know what flossing is. They must have observed a person doing it and then imitated them. This is incredibly intelligent, but it also makes sense because monkeys are so closely related to human beings. Animals continue to show remarkable and unpredictable uses of tools we never would have thought possible.
Additionally, for animals, creativity is commonly applied in order to facilitate survival, for instance, by making hunting, grazing or hiding easier for them. Survival typically indicates being able to hunt prey for carnivores, being able to defend themselves and locate food for herbivores and both for omnivores. Thus, their creative ideas usually involve the criteria of making those activities easier to perform. To overwhelm the prey, chimpanzees would traditionally chase in a group. This required a substantial amount of hard work. Quite recently, zoologists and primatologists have discovered spears made out of branches at chimpanzees’ settlements. This may indicate that they have learned to not only use but craft these spears out of branches, allowing them to hunt from a long distance. Along with chimps, sea otters are known to have been using tools for the longest periods of time. Some otters occasionally eat clams, snails, thick-shelled mollusks and other animals with shells. Prying the shells open with their teeth puts stress on them, causing them to be brittle and break in the long run. Instead, otters have discovered a new technique to remove the shells which is by using stones or rocks as either an anvil or as hammers. This way, they became the first innovative marine organisms. Animals are not generally curious beings but if there is an idea that increases their chances at survival, they will utilize it.
Furthermore, just as humans have constructed various wonders in this world such as the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal, animals have left their mark too. The termite mounds in Australia and red ant nests in Germany are nothing short of a work of genius. The creativity and effort that certain animals put into building their shelters is simply phenomenal. Nests are extremely important to birds as they lay their eggs there. It needs to work as a shield for the eggs so that no one can steal them. Weaver birds are true artists who build nests that are hundred percent waterproof, unaffected by wind and the knots they make are entirely secure and thick so other birds cannot damage the nest or the eggs. They create this masterpiece without any help, with only small beaks and legs. Insects are often underestimated because of their size. Although, some of the best animal architecture is formed by insects. The mounds built by termites range from three feet to fifteen feet high and they take four to five years, assuming the weather supports them. It is unbelievable that such small insects have the capability to create a structure that large. The termites do not actually live in the mounds; they have large colonies under the surface. Their intricate ventilation system, their line of defense and their energy-efficient architecture fascinates even our modern architects. Who says animals are not intelligent?
The animal kingdom consists of numerous organisms, all of whom possess their own areas of specialization in which they use their intellect. Their creativeness is revealed through their usage of tools from their surroundings to protect themselves and improve their routines to increase the likelihood of survival, and through creating architecture marvels. Human beings cannot be the only intelligent and ingenious species since all living beings evolved from a common ancestor and large portions of our DNA is similar. We must share some common characteristics, some of them being problem-solving, brainpower and innovativeness. We always knew animals were much better than us in terms of being virtuous, however, they are also capable of equalling us in terms of creativeness.