How Carnivores of Different Species Rank in Ability to Solve Puzzle Boxes Containing Favorite Treats

Carnivores Puzzle Boxes Solving Ranked

In a really informative 2016 episode of the New York Times series ScienceTake, narrator James Gorman explained how carnivores of different species performed when a puzzle box was put in front of them. What was discovered is that more solitary animals with bigger brains such as bears and raccoons tended to solve the puzzles much more quickly than those species that lived within a highly social hierarchy but had smaller brains, such as the meerkat, a fact that surprised researchers at Wyoming University.

What was a surprise was the poor performance of animals that live in complex social groups, sometimes thought to promote intelligence. Sadly, if you’re a fan of ‘Meerkat Manor,’ the family that includes meerkats and mongooses did the worst.