“So long and thanks for all the fish”, that was the last the earth will ever hear from the dolphins, or so it was in the Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy where dolphins were the second smartest animals on the planet earth. During the entire conversation about dolphins in class one particular topic stood out to me. Their intelligence; Humans have always been interested in intelligence in the animal kingdom from monkeys, elephants, parrots and dogs you name It if it has a spark of intelligence people want to know about it.
Dolphins show multiple levels of intelligence but scientists are always unsure weather the dolphin actually understands concepts being portrayed or it is simply using it’s highly sharpened ability to mimic what it is seen. There are a few reported examples of dolphin intelligence that we can see in the wild though. The first of these is how the dolphin plays. Dolphins are known to blow complicated bubble rings and handle them as if they were playing with a Frisbee of some sort. Dolphins have also been known to help other species then them selves for no apparent reason. There have been reports of dolphins saving beached whales and also aiding swimmers to safety with no reward for them. Another example of intelligent dolphin behavior is their creative side. One study was done where a dolphin was rewarded for coming up with new tricks and flips. Once the dolphin realized this there was an explosion of creativity to the dolphins routine show. Dolphins have also been observed using tools on their own. A group in Australia was seen using sea sponge when searching the surface of the ground so as not to damage their bottlenose. Dolphins are also extremely social animals. Once a consistent natural food source is found dolphins will create a “pod” of sometimes thousands of dolphins. This is most likely. This works extremely well for them when it comes to warding off a single shark but it also makes the dolphin venerable to human farming, for example the catastrophe that is shown in the cove. The last and possibly the most impressive trait that sets the dolphin apart from your average animal would be how they communicate with each other. The dolphin uses a form of sonar to create individualization and express him or herself in the ocean waves.
Overall thought dolphins are extremely smart for the animal world. They have skills far above your average fish and show traits often observed in humans. This single point about dolphins made me uneasy during the entire showing of the cove. The idea that in a sense an animal genocide was and is taking place certainly affected me and probably will never let me look at dolphins in the same light as I had before.