ou think you’re so smart. Well, a wave of research into animal cognition reveals that just about anything you do, other creatures can do too. Sometimes, they can do it far better. To probe the nature of intelligence, scientists test animal skills and compare how different species think. A chimpanzee and a crow both understand cause and effect, but one’s got a big wrinkly brain like a human, and the other possesses a smooth ball of cells that could fit into a tablespoon. Examining how two critters with radically different wiring solve the same problem might illuminate brain science’s murkiest mystery: how a glob of neurons generates smarts. The timing couldn’t be better. With AI poised to enter everyday life, we are anxious about what will happen when we’re outflanked by machines. Animal-cognition research suggests that maybe we shouldn’t be too worried: It turns out we’ve been sharing the planet with superior alien intelligence all along.