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21 of The World’s Dumbest Animals (A – Z List & Pictures)

dumbest animals

Examples of the dumbest animals include Afghan Hound, Cane Toads, Flamingoes, Giraffes, and Goblin Sharks.

Many animals are quite intelligent, like dolphins or chimpanzees. But there are some animals that totally lack the capacity to reason and think rationally, making them seem utterly dumb.

Animals are generally considered to be pretty dumb. The following list of animals proves that point. From the ever-so-stupid cat to the absolutely dimwitted dog, this list contains some of the most unintelligent creatures on earth!

Examples of The Dumbest Animals

1. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfghanistan
DietOmnivore

The Afghan hound is a sighthound – bred for hunting – and has an excellent sense of smell. But this breed can be easily distracted by anything new or interesting, leading it to completely forget what its owner told it to do.

2. Cane Toads

cane toad
Scientific NameRhinella marina
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangethe Amazon basin in South America
DietCarnivore

The cane toads are large, warty amphibians that were brought to Australia in 1935 to control beetles that infested sugarcane crops.

But they ended up creating their own problems: they breed so prodigiously (a female can lay 30,000 eggs at once) and have so many offspring with each spawning that there are now over 200 million cane toads living in Australia.

And the toads are poisonous—they produce a toxin that can sicken or even kill animals that try to eat them.

3. Flamingo

flamingo
Scientific NamePhoenicopterus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCaribbean, Mexico, and South America
DietOmnivore

Flamingo mating rituals are just as dumb. The male stretches his long neck up high, shakes it back and forth, spreads his wings, and gives a low-pitched honk. If that doesn’t attract a female’s attention, he’ll shake his head back and forth even faster until she submits to his genetic superiority.

4. Giraffes

Angolan Giraffe
Scientific NameGiraffa
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesemi-arid savannah and savannah woodlands in Africa
DietHerbivore

Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world—their long necks make them particularly vulnerable to attack from predators like lions and hyenas. However, they are so oblivious that they’ll casually munch on poisonous leaves without suffering any ill effects.

5. Goblin Shark

Scientific Name Mitsukurina owstoni
Type of AnimalFish
Rangeoff the coast of Japan
DietCarnivore

This shark spends most of its life deep underwater where it’s very dark. As you can see, the shark has a face only a mother (shark?) could love—or not. It is truly hideous.

Researchers believe that the flat structures on the sides of its head are sensory organs that help locate prey in total darkness.

The goblin shark’s long, protruding teeth are used to latch onto prey. Goblin sharks have been found at depths of almost 2,300 feet deep in the ocean.

If this shark wasn’t already scary enough, it has a unique hunting strategy. It will swim up behind its prey and shoot its mouth out so fast that it “explodes” through the prey.

6. Horned Lizard

Horned Lizard
Scientific NamePhrynosoma
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangethe south-central United States to northern Mexico
DietOmnivore

This is a prime example of an animal whose ability to outsmart its predators has been highly exaggerated.

When a horned lizard is attacked by a predator, it typically darts between the predator’s legs and escapes unscathed.

While the strategy works sometimes, there are several animals that have learned that they can catch these lizards by simply chasing after them.

7. Japanese Land Snails

Scientific NameEuhadra peliomphala
Type of AnimalGastropods
RangeWorldwide
DietHerbivore

The most common predator of these snails is the beetle. These snails can sling their shells about 180-degrees, and they use it to knock the beetle away. The thrushes attack the mollusks by smashing them on a stone with a rapid blow of their beak.

To avoid being eaten, the snails have developed a defense mechanism called “the fleeing response,” in which they quickly retract into their shells and secrete a gummy substance that seals up all but the breathing hole at the top.

Within 30 seconds, the snail can totally seal itself off and drop to the ground, where it sometimes plays dead until the danger has passed.

8. Jerboa

Jerboa
Scientific NameAllactaga
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeeastern Europe, Asia, and northern Africa
DietOmnivore

Jerboas are desert-dwelling rodents that have extremely poor eyesight. They live in areas where there is not a lot of vegetation to help them blend into their surroundings, so it’s kind of silly they would choose such as the harsh environment where they’re constantly at risk of being eaten by predators.

A jerboa will run from a potential predator in a zigzag fashion until it falls down. It will then remain still, even as the predators close in on them. A new study shows that jerboas have some super-senses which makes up for their poor eyesight and enables them to evade predators even when they’re incapacitated.

9. Kakapo

Kakapo
Scientific NameStrigops habroptilus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNew Zealand
DietHerbivore

The kakapo is a critically endangered species of flightless parrot native to New Zealand. It is easy prey for cats, dogs, rats, and stoats. Conservation efforts have seen their population increase in recent years but there are still only 126 known kakapos left. The birds are too heavy to fly, they are poor climbers, they are docile, slow-moving, and have no defense mechanisms.

Related Article: Are Kakapo Endangered?

10. Killdeer

Killdeer
Scientific NameCharadrius vociferus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe southern half of the US
DietCarnivore

Killdeer will pretend to have a broken wing in order to lure predators away from their nests, but sometimes they’ll do this right on top of their real nest.

11. Koala

Koalas sitting in a tree
Scientific NamePhascolarctos cinereus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeEastern Australia
DietHerbivore

Koala bears look cuddly and nice—but they have a habit of climbing eucalyptus trees to find fresh leaves, then falling asleep on a branch without knowing that they will subsequently plummet to the ground when they doze off.

12. Komodo Dragon

Komodo Dragon
Scientific NameVaranus komodoensis
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeIndonesian islands of the Lesser Sunda group
DietCarnivore

The Komodo Dragon is known to be the world’s largest lizard. It should also be noted that this creature typically kills over 80% of its victims (usually deer and pigs) via infection, not by actually consuming them.

13. Lilac-Breasted Roller

Lilac-Breasted Roller
Scientific NameCoracias caudatus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesub-Saharan Africa
DietCarnivore

One of the dumbest animals is the lilac-breasted roller. This African bird will roll around in self-made dust storms to remove ticks and other parasites from its feathers, but it cannot understand that the dust also rolls down into its own eyes and temporarily blinds it. The result is that it continues rolling in circles, sometimes for up to an hour.

14. Northern Fulmar Chicks

Scientific NameFulmarFulmarus glacialis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth Atlantic, North Pacific, and Arctic Oceans
DietCarnivore

Northern fulmars lay their eggs on cliffs, where the chicks are then raised. While these chicks are learning to fly, they will sometimes plunge off the cliff they were born on and plummet toward the ocean below, because of their natural instincts they cannot correct their course.

15. Norwegian Lemmings

lemming
Scientific NameLemmus lemmus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangenorthern Fennoscandia
DietHerbivore

They use their strong teeth as their primary defensive weapon. Therefore, they have to get close enough to bite their enemy. Their distinctive white cheeks and chin may draw their predators ‘attention towards their mouths.

16. Ostrich

Ostrich
Scientific NameStruthio camelus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAfrica
DietHerbivore

Also, ostriches are known for being dumb. One myth claims that they stick their heads in the ground to look for water so they can avoid predators, but this is false.

Ostriches only put their heads in the sand when they want to take a dust bath or roll around—but it makes them look like they’re hiding, which is what the myth claims.

17. Panda Bear

panda bear
Scientific NameAiluropoda melanoleuca
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeChina
DietHerbivore

The scientific community officially classifies the lovely black and white panda is a carnivore. That’s because it has a digestive system not suited for a herbivore diet. Yet, despite being a carnivorous breed, the panda is determined to spend its time eating bamboo.

18. Secretary Bird

Secretary Bird
Scientific NameSagittarius serpentarius
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesub-Saharan Africa’s savannas
DietCarnivore

The secretary bird of Africa gets its name from the crest of black feathers on top of its head, which resembles a quill pen behind the ear. These large birds feed mainly on snakes and can hunt prey up to two-thirds their own size.

However, they’re apparently reluctant to attack anything that can’t be swallowed whole. That’s why they frequently attack venomous snakes—but ultimately get bitten and die.

19. Sloth

Sloth
Scientific NameFolivora
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeCentral and South America
DietHerbivore

Sloths spend most of their time hanging upside down in trees. When they do come down, they move so slowly that algae grow on their furry coats.

20. Slow Loris

Scientific NameNycticebus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeSouth Asia
DietOmnivore

When threatened, the slow loris raises its arms and receives some of a substance secreted around its elbows with its mouth. This poison is venomous when mixed with saliva, and the slow loris can kill its predator with a single bite by using it.

21. Turkey

wild turkey
Scientific NameMeleagris
Type of AnimalBird
Range the Americas
DietOmnivore

There is a well-known urban legend that suggests that if you open an umbrella in the presence of a turkey, it will attack you. This has been debunked several times, but some people still believe it. It turns out wagging your finger at a turkey also annoys it to no end.

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