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10 Animals with the Worst Memory in the World

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Welcome to the Top 10 Animals with the Worst Memory in the World. Read on to learn more!

Everything can be stored in the short-term memory of animals, but it is quickly forgotten.

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Animals also have a wide range of specialized memories that can only remember a specific knowledge but store it for a very long time. For the animals on the top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world below, that’s not the case.

The memory of an animal varies according to species. However, only a few animals would perform well regarding short-term memory tests. 

As a result, this blog will focus on some of the animals with the worst memories in the world. 

wild chimpanzees

Jump to any section on animals with the worst memory that you are interested in below:

#1. Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world

Chimpanzees are giant apes found in central and western Africa. They and baboons share 98.7% of our DNA, making them our closest relatives. Humans and chimpanzees may have shared an ancestor as far back as seven to thirteen million years ago. 

Seeing chimpanzees on this list of creatures with terrible memory may surprise many people. We regard chimpanzees as some of the most intelligent creatures on the planet. If not the smartest, at least one of the best. 

They are capable of tackling a wide range of challenging tasks and issues. The region of chimps’ brains responsible for learning and development never stops growing, which explains why they are so brilliant. It is a fairly similar case for humans.

Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing 98% of our chromosomes. But why does the chimpanzee have such a large brain but a weak short-term memory?

According to National Geographic, chimpanzees have been shown to forget an experience within 20 seconds. Since they are our closest ancestors, their findings surprised biologists.

Humans are thought to have developed a memory capacity long after we separated from our evolutionary ancestors.

As a reminder, short-term memory is different from long-term memory. If the information isn’t essential to the animal, unlike where food is or how to avoid danger, it will be forgotten after 20 seconds. Earning chimpanzees a spot on the list of top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world.

#2. Bees


Bees, like wasps and ants, are insects with wings. Aside from their pollination tasks, bees are well-known for their honey production, especially the western honey bee. Apidae is a genus of bees, a monophyletic lineage. Anthophila is the term given to the clade in which they now reside.

Bees belong to seven different taxonomic families, with an estimated 16,000 or more species worldwide. 

Nectar and pollen are the primary sources of energy for bees whereas pollen is the primary source of protein and other nutrients for bees.

For their larvae, the bulk of pollen provides a source of nutrition. Insect predators such as bee wolves and dragonflies prey on honeybees, primates, and birds like bee-eaters. Bees’ short-term memory is quite weak, despite their unique abilities.

A comparable study on chimpanzees found that bees had the worst memory, with a recall duration of just 2.5 seconds. Also earning bees a spot on the list of top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world.

#3. Baboons 

delousing baboons

Most baboons live on the ground and eat various foods like fruit, roots, grubs, and other insects. As many as five to 200 or more baboons can be found in a single troop of females and juveniles, including a few transient males.

Around puberty, male baboons leave their birth group. In contrast, females remain with their birth group throughout their lives. It is common for them to survive for between 20 and 30 years, but they can even live for up to 40. 

Baboons are highly intelligent primates who cherish their relationships with their families but have low memory. Biologists have found that baboons can understand words and language logically.

#4. Hamster

Hamster top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world

Recently, the number of people owning hamsters as pets has skyrocketed. Hamsters are forgetful. Their owners say that hamsters lose track of what they are doing in the middle of things. 

Hamsters are known for their food-hoarding behavior. They transport food to their underground lairs in large cheek pouches. When their cheeks are whole, their heads can appear to grow by a factor of two or three.

Hamsters shed their summer weight in preparation for the winter. Hamsters kept as pets may also have this side effect, which has been linked to more exercise. 

The hamster’s short-term memory is thought to be no more than three seconds.

This is why these household pets are on the top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world. As far as hamster intelligence is concerned, there hasn’t been much research done to find out. Certain rodents, though, can recognise you and even reply to your name if you train them for long enough.

#5. Seal

grey seal top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world

Since pinnipeds spend so much time in the water, they have an amphibious way of life. Seals only leave the water to breed, give birth to young, shed their old skin, rest, regulate their body temperature, or flee from water-based predators.

In reaction to extreme environmental conditions, such as changes in ice cover, several species are known to move long distances. 

To keep themselves warm in the frigid waters, seals have a layer of fat under their skin called blubber. Having a water-resistant fur coat makes it easier for them to glide through the waves. The hairs on a seal’s face aid it in spotting prey in the dark and murky waters. Seals generally live 25–30 years; females tend to outlive males. 

Seals are one of the most intelligent species of animals. They can understand words, commands, signs, and human laughter, but they have poor memory. 

#6. Giraffe

giraffe top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world. 

The giraffe is the tallest mammal in the world because of its long neck and towering legs. Even just the legs of a giraffe are taller than most people as they stand at nearly 6 feet.

Because of their large legs, giraffes can run up to 35 mph over short distances and 10 mph over longer ones. These intriguing animals usually travel in small groups of approximately six or seven through the wide grasslands.

Giraffes may fight by slamming their long necks and heads into each other. The contests usually conclude peacefully when one animal gives up and walks away.

They look like they’re clever creatures. But their short-term memory spans only a few seconds. A giraffe’s short-term memory isn’t enough to remember that they have done something.

#7. Sloth

sloth top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world. 

It’s the slow, methodical movements that give sloths their name. Like their popular names in various languages for example, French paresseux, the word “sloth” means “laziness.”

Slowness allows them to feed on leaves, which are low in energy, and it keeps them hidden from predatory hawks and cats that hunt by sight. Despite their inability to walk, sloths can swim. 

It’s not a significant surprise that sloths don’t have fantastic memories because they don’t shout. In the movie Ice Age, Sid the Sloth should have given you a fair sense of how naive these animals are. 

It’s not uncommon for them to have such poor visual recall that they mistake their arms for tree branches, hold on with their opposing arms, and fall to their deaths. Worse, short-term memory and forgetfulness are the main challenges for this creature. No wonder sloth are among the top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world.

#8. Turkey 

turkey top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world. 

Turkey has a common lineage with grouse, pheasants, and other fowl that can be traced back over 20 million years in North America.  

Newborn turkeys stay close to their mother throughout the year. Even though wild turkeys prefer to roost in trees, the mother keeps her young at ground level to protect them from predators until they are big enough to fend for themselves. 

Despite their high speed, wild turkeys can only fly briefly before crashing to the ground. On the other hand, most domestic turkeys cannot fly because they have been bred to be much larger than they would be in the wild.

Turkey doesn’t appear intelligent, and they also have an issue with their memory which is one of the worst.

#9. Ostrich

The ostrich is a big, flightless bird exclusively found in Africa’s open country. The males are primarily black, with white plumes on their wings and tails, while the females are mostly brown. Reddish and blueish, the head and most of the neck are lightly draped; the legs, notably the muscular thighs, are bare.

The head is small, the bill is short and broad, and thick black lashes frame the large brown eyes. 

At least they can blame their macho behavior on the fact that they can not recall how foolish they are. The short-term memory of only 10 seconds means they may be chasing something without knowing why.

Their wide-set eyes and stupid-looking heads only reinforce the general belief that these animals are not intelligent in the least.

#10. Snakes 

snake in Florida top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world. 

Most snakes have very poor or no memories at all. This may be a surprise given the numerous snake-horror movies we’ve seen over the years. While they may be unable to recall details, it is more likely that their brains aren’t built to make emotional connections to the events they encounter. 

Since they can learn to distinguish between predator and prey, your pet snake may or may not be aware of your existence. 

Animals or items they’ve previously encountered have scents that they can identify and remember but have no associated memories. Even if they can’t remember why they should be doing something, most snakes have an innate sense that it’s right.

Despite popular belief, snakes have no concept of being pets and may not even recognize their owners. They also have no capacity for building a relationship with humans, such as seeing them as more than just an animal that hasn’t impacted them and would be too big to be a prey, so they leave the others alone.

Animals without brains

Learning how animals without brains function and adapt to their natural environment is fascinating. Many hours of research have been devoted to learning everything there is to know about these unique animals. It is only in water that animals without brains can be found.

Most of these animals attach themselves to rocks or the ocean floor to survive. And they make the list of top 10 animals with the worst memory; is because you need a brain to have a memory!


Sea stars live in saltwater in all oceans, from the warm tropical waters to the freezing bottom. The suction-cupped feet of sea stars allow them to hunt for mollusks such as clams, mussels, and oysters. 

The starfish can distinguish between light and dark because it has small eyes at each arm’s end. They’re good at spotting movement but can’t do much else. Just the right amount of information to watch for food and adversaries. Because it contains all the essential sensors it needs to remain attentive, this animal does not require a brain.


They are a vital portion of the species Cnidaria known as jellyfish and sea jellies informally. Although some jellyfish are fixed to the seafloor by stalks rather than being mobile, most have umbrella-shaped bells and trailing tentacles.

Rare among creatures lacking a brain, jellyfish move about during their life cycle. The jellyfish may migrate with the water currents. Squirting water from its mouth can also be used to propel itself ahead.

Sea Urchins

sea urchin top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world. 

Sea urchins, like sand dollars and starfish, are a species of spiny sea creature. Because of their hard, spherical, and spiky bodies, they may readily be mistaken for shells or pebbles.

Sea urchins are simple creatures, yet they have a formidable protection system. Skin, tissue, and even bone damage can result from a single sting from one of these venomous insects.

If you’ve ever trodden on a sea urchin, you’ll know just how dangerous they can be. When you’re at the beach, keep an eye out for these fellas.

Sea cucumbers

sea cucumber top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world

Echinoderms, which include sea cucumbers, are creatures that live in the water. 1,250 species have been identified so far, and many resemble soft-bodied cucumbers.

Although some sea cucumbers reside in the shallows and others in the deep ocean, they are all ocean dwellers. It’s not uncommon for them to be partially buried beneath the ocean’s surface.

Something is endearing about the small worm-like critters. Most of the animals mentioned in this article eat plankton that floats on the ocean’s surface. They can be found in every corner of the globe, and their skin is made of a material that resembles leather.


coral- top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world. 

A polyp is a hollow cylindrical structure linked to a surface at its base by an internal skeleton. A mouth enclosed by tentacles can be found at the free end. Nematocysts, specialised stinging structures that paralyse animals, are found on the tentacles that gather food.

Like jellyfish, corals are members of the “Cnidarian” family of marine organisms. Asymmetrical bodies and the ability to sting their foes are standard features among the creatures.

You may mistakenly believe corals to be planted, but they are, in fact, real, breathing creatures. As we’ll see, they are pretty simple animals, which makes sense given that they don’t have a brain.

Coral polyps are the tiny creatures that make up the coral. Jellies devour zooplankton, and corals do the same thing. Tiny tentacles collect plankton at night when they emerge from their burrows. The tentacle arm is pulled back inside and eaten as soon as something is caught.

Summary of Top 10 Animals with the Worst Memory in the World

Amazingly, a surprising number of animals worldwide possess exceptional recall abilities. Dolphins, and dogs, for example, have remarkable memories and can retain information for long periods.

But we just learned that there are also a lot of animals with a very bad memory!

If you enjoyed reading about the top 10 animals with the worst memory in the world, check out the top 10 weirdest animals and 10 ways to live more sustainably next!

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