Top 10 Most Forgetful Animals In The World

Though we often get frustrated with forgetful people, it’s actually pretty funny and adorable when animals are the ones to lose memory. The sight of a grown animal behaving like a confused child never fails to amuse us.

If you’re feeling forgetful yourself, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. These 10 animals are notoriously forgetful, and they’ll make you feel better about your own lapses in memory!

1. Bees

You might not think about it, but memory is actually vital for bees, specifically honeybees. Bees need to remember the location of their hive, where to find nectar-rich flowers, and how to navigate. In regards to their short-term memory, they’re unfortunately lagging behind.

Did you know that According to the findings of an experiment featured in the American Museum of Natural History’s website, a bee’s long-term memory deteriorates quickly over the course of nine days? They tend to forget where their beehive is after over a week!

2. Hamster

If hamsters weren’t so cute, we would have eaten them instead of keeping them as pets! They’re small, loving, and fluffy with seemingly no care nor thought in the world. Long-day memories survived in pinealectomized hamsters for 6.5 weeks, diminished noticeably after thirteen weeks, and vanished completely after twenty weeks. It’s no wonder that hamsters are rarely found in the wild nowadays and mostly exist as pets.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you own a hamster, its memory is so bad that they probably don’t even remember who you are. These creatures are so obtuse, they might not remember what they’re in the middle of doing while they’re still doing it!

3. Chimpanzee

A chimpanzee’s memory is pretty dismal in comparison to other animals. In fact, they can only remember something that just happened for 20 seconds on average! Even though they might not remember what you said or did a few minutes ago, that doesn’t mean they’re unintelligent.

They just have better long-term and working memory than short-term memory! Even though they can remember and reason like a five-year-old, their short-term memory is very bad.

4. Seal

Because seals have such a short-term memory of 18 seconds, they are constantly forgetting what it is that they are doing. They are mostly unaware of their own behavior because they can’t remember what they were trying to do less than 30 seconds after starting.

Though they’re highly trainable, you might wonder why they’re part of the list. It’s because they have a good capacity for remembering things long-term and are intelligent animals with strong sensory skills.

5. Giraffe

A giraffe’s short-term memory is only 30 seconds. This would be a problem if they had to use kettles, but thankfully, they don’t! They may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but at least they can remember things that happened in the past.

Although they look like they are very intelligent, their short-term memory only lasts for a few seconds. In fact, a giraffe’s short-term memory is so bad that it can’t even remember what they have done.

6. Dogs

This might come as a surprise to you, but dogs forget what happened 2 minutes ago. You might wonder how this is possible since they always seem so happy and recognize you when you come home. However, research has shown that dogs have short-term memory and they quickly forget what happened.

What makes them remember you or the tricks you taught them for quite some time is what scientists call “associative memory”, which is technically not an actual memory, but more of associated behavior in response to a stimulus. For example, when a dog is trained to sit, the dog associates the behavior of sitting with getting a treat. It’s more of a habitual response than an actual memory. But fret not, your pet can still recognize you and be loyal to you – just don’t expect them to remember what happened a few minutes ago!

7. Ostrich

They can at least blame their ridiculous antics on the fact that they have such poor short-term memory recall. Since they can only retain information for a mere 10 seconds, they may be running after something without any particular goal in mind.

The wide-set eyes and seemingly stupid heads of these animals only serve as a foundation for the general misconception that they are not intelligent. Ostriches are known to attack humans, think they’re in charge, and are very dominating birds even though they lack intelligence.

8. Snake

Because snakes can identify and remember scents, they are drawn to animals or items that they have encountered before. Although they can’t recall what they intended to do, snakes have an internal sense that tells them what actions to take.

Contrary to popular belief, snakes cannot be domesticated and do not make good pets. They have no capacity for human interaction or recognizing their owner as anything more than an entity that hasn’t harmed them.

9. Baboon

The average lifespan of a baboon is 20-30 years, but some have been known to live up to 40. They are highly intelligent and close with their families, though they forget things easily. In a surprising discovery, biologists have found that baboons not only understand words and language, but they comprehend it in a logical way.

Although baboons have great long-term memory, their short-term memory isn’t as sharp. It’s tricky to completely understand how long a baboon can remember things at the moment.

10. Turkey

They don’t look intelligent, and unfortunately, their appearance is an accurate portrayal of their cognitive abilities. They may not be the brightest creatures, but at least they taste good and we can eat them once a year. Also, they won’t realize because they can’t recall if there were four or eight turkeys beforehand.

Final Thoughts

While these animals are quite forgetful, others just have poor short-term memory. However, all of them are still interesting creatures that are adorable to watch! It’s amazing how different each animal is, yet they all share the common trait of forgetfulness. We hope you enjoyed learning about the top 10 most forgetful animals in the world!