10 Animals With The Worst Memory In The World

We’ve all been guilty of forgetting names, objects and even birthdays. Memory is something that varies from person to person and can even change over time. But have you ever thought about animals and their memory spans?

While some animals have a fantastic memory, others do not. Here are a few animals with the worst memory in the world.

Animals with Weak Memories Revealed

1. Hamster

A hamster is known for its adorable fuzzy appearance and is a popular pet choice. Hamsters are small rodents that make perfect pets since they are low maintenance. These fluffy animals love eating seeds, nuts, carrots and fruit. They have a unique way of eating and often stuff their cheeks full of food. This is because they like to store the food for later consumption. But these adorable animals are believed to have the worst memory. 

This is because hamsters have tiny brains with less memory capacity. They mostly use their senses to navigate their way around since their memory isn’t too sharp. Despite this, they may still be able to remember things like their owner’s smell or burrow locations.

Hamsters also have poor eyesight, which means that they don’t rely on recognizing faces. Instead, they use their sense of smell and sound to protect themselves from danger.

2. Bees

Bees are flying insects that play an essential role in our environment. Bumble bees help to pollinate flowers by collecting pollen on their body. When they pass onto another flower, the pollen rubs off on the flower. With this process, bumble bees are able to eat delicious nectar and kick-start the pollination process for most flowers. Another important bee species is the honey bee. Like their name suggests, this insect helps produce honey and also wax.

This insect species may be super helpful, but they also have weak memories. A bee’s long-term memory starts to fade after nine days. During this time, they use their memory to travel long distances and return to their hive. But even though they have a short memory, bees are still quite smart.

Studies show that bees can recognize humans for up to 2 days. They are also capable of teaching other bees tasks.

3. Sloth

Sloth are known as one of the slowest animals in the world. They are also famous for their unique-looking expressions. These tree-dwelling mammals can be found in rainforests in central and South America. They spend most of their day sleeping and can sleep for around 18 hours at a time. Sloths enjoy a herbivorous diet that consists of leaves, twigs and flowers. Their speed isn’t the only thing that’s slow about them. Sloths also have a slow metabolic rate, so they don’t need to eat as much.

Unfortunately, these mammals have quite a short-term memory. They sometimes even forget about the tree branches they are holding onto. This can lead to them falling from trees to their death. Sloths also have poor vision, which is why they mostly rely on their senses.

You can find this fluffy animal hanging upside down from trees most of the time. They use their long claws to grasp onto branches.

Check out this amazing video to learn more about the most intelligent animals in the world!

4. Goldfish

You probably already know about this one, didn’t you? Well, goldfish are a domesticated species that get their name from their golden-orange scales. This is the most popular pet option since goldfish tend to be pretty low maintenance. If taken care of, a goldfish can easily live up to 10-15 years. They are omnivorous fish that can eat pellets, worms and dried fish food. Goldfish don’t require a lot of food and can even go a week without eating! Despite this, it is still important to ensure your goldfish is fed.

This fish species is known for having poor memory and is said to forget things within seconds. While this statement has some truth, it is not entirely accurate. Goldfish have poor memories and can only remember things for around a month. Even if their memory isn’t the best, goldfish are intelligent creatures. They can be taught to learn simple tricks and recognize their owners too!

5. Chimpanzee

Although chimps are one of the smartest animals on this planet, they have a weak memory. Chimpanzees are primates that share a lot of their DNA with humans. They can use tools and can even walk on two legs. This primate species reside in rainforests in tropical Africa. Chimpanzees have an omnivorous diet that consists of fruit, eggs and insects. They also eat leaves to eliminate parasites and relieve tummy aches.

But even though chimpanzees are quite smart, they don’t have good memories. They have a memory of around 20 seconds and tend to forget things quite often. But, research shows that chimps may have better short-term memory than humans. 

Despite this fact, chimpanzees still stun us with their human-like skills. They are excellent at problem-solving and can communicate as well. This animal is also relatively stronger than humans in many ways.

6. Giraffe

Giraffes are unique because of their extremely long neck and patterned coat. They can grow to be around 19 ft tall and can be found in the sub-Saharan African region. Giraffes love to munch on leaves, and they do so by eating them off tree tops. Their long legs allow them to run and walk pretty fast, around 37 mph. You may think giraffes are quiet creatures, but they also make noises. They can grunt, snort, cough, and even moo at times. But what about their memory?

They may look smart, but giraffes have a memory that lasts only a few moments. It is recorded that a giraffe’s memory spans around 18 seconds. Despite this, this animal can still remember basic survival skills. Giraffes look out for their groups by gathering out watering holes at once. They take turns drinking and keep an eye out for predators. 

7. Turkey

When you think of turkeys you probably think of Thanksgiving and the birds’ unique gobbling sound. This flightless bird species is native to North America and has big brown feathers. Turkeys are also known for their fan-shaped tail feathers and red skin on their faces. They tend to live in flocks and can be pretty aggressive. If you ever approach a turkey, chances are you may be chased away. Turkeys are also quite intelligent and curious birds who love to explore.

Although they don’t have the worst memory, most turkeys do suffer from short-term memory loss. This is why it’s so easy to hunt these flightless birds. They often forget dangerous paths and get fooled by turkey traps. However, they can sense danger and get anxious if they notice something is off.

They are cautious animals and can sense predatory behavior. Turkeys can also alarm their flock when danger is nearby. 

8. Ostrich

Staying on flightless birds with bad memories, ostriches are next on the list. Not only are these one of the heaviest birds, but they are also quite fast. Ostrich can run over 80 mph and is known for their unique looks. This bird also lays some of the biggest eggs. A fun fact about ostriches is that they have three separate stomachs. Their stomachs help them digest food properly. Ostrich lives on a diet of seed, insects and grains.

They are also known for not being too bright and having poor memory. Their memory span is only 10 seconds long, and they tend to forget easily. Sometimes they even forget why they are running. This can be pretty bad for them, especially if they are running away from predators.

Although they aren’t the smartest birds, ostriches have amazing eyesight, allowing them to spot danger from afar.

Want to learn more about ostriches? This video has it all!

9. Seal

Seals are semi-aquatic animals that belong to the Odobenidae family. They are known for their chubby appearance and tail resembling a mermaid. There are many different seal species, from elephant seals to fuzzy polar seals. They are carnivorous creatures that eat a diet of small fish and molluscs. Seals are pretty intelligent animals and even know how to use tools. Their intelligence allows them to learn simple tricks as well.

They can understand words, commands and even recognize laughter. Despite this, seals still have poor memory that only lasts around 18 seconds. However, they are aware of their own behavior.

10. Baboon

This is another monkey species that is closely related to humans. Baboons are smart in many ways, but just like chimpanzees, they have a terrible memory span. They are quite aggressive animals that fight amongst themselves and also attack humans. Baboons eat an omnivorous diet that consists of fish, plants and even antelopes. Their ability to hunt an antelope should tell you enough about their strength. Some species of baboons can be identified by their red behinds and shaggy tufts of hair.

Just like chimps, baboons are intelligent animals. They can solve numerical problems and have excellent cognitive skills. Despite this, they still have poor memory. Although they can recognize and memorize easily, they tend to forget after a while.


Wasn’t it tricky to guess some of these animals for this list? Interestingly, the claims for short memory spans are not efficiently backed up with facts and stats. There are still debates about some of these animals and their memory in question. 

Research is carried out on animal behaviors to learn more about their cognitive ability, sharpness of memory, and overall intelligence. So unless we have some solid backing, let’s not conclude anything concrete against these animals. 

We hope you find this article interesting and informative. 

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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