Raccoons pick locks
istock/© Konstantin Yuganov
If you’re planning a whimsical animal burglary, you’ll definitely want a raccoon anchoring your squad. In a bizarre 1908 study by ethologist H.B. David, raccoons were able to pick complex locks in fewer than 10 attempts, even after the locks were rearranged or flipped upside-down. Various studies conducted from the ’60s to the ’90s found that raccoons boast an impeccable memory, able to recall solutions to tasks for up to three years. Bonus fact: Thanks to their broad hearing range, raccoons literally hear earthworms moving underground. (How this will benefit you in your heist is for you to determine.)
Crows know physics
Not only can crows recognize faces to differentiate between predatory and benign species, they also understand basic physics (like this lab crow who mastered water displacement to maneuver a treat within reach), have been known to change entire migration patterns to avoid farms where crows have been killed in the past, and may even memorize city garbage routes so they can snag the inevitable food droppings on trash day. Talk about some of the smartest animals! Cool, calculating, and known to harbor a grudge, crows shouldn’t be compared to gangsters, per se, but we do feel obligated to remind you that a group of them is called a murder. At least they aren’t as creepy as these 15 gross animals that will make your skin crawl.