How Smart Are Dolphins?

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Humans tend to assume that they are the only intelligent beings in the world.

They may think that animals are inferior beings. However, animals like dolphins prove them wrong.

These creatures are intelligent and demonstrate a complex thought process. It may be hard to believe for some people, but dolphins are smart mammals.

What Is Intelligence?

Intelligence is defined as one’s ability to adapt, learn, and apply knowledge by understanding challenging or new situations and think abstractly. Dolphins have demonstrated all the traits of intelligence, as proven by several experts who have studied them up close. Dolphins are quick learners and talented mimics. They have time and again demonstrated problem-solving skills, self-awareness, innovation, teaching skills, joy, playfulness, grief, and empathy.

How Dolphins Are Smart Animals?

These aquatic mammals are known for being capable of complex social interactions. They tend to form teams and work together to solve problems. They are also known to share a common language and have assigned names for each other. Not only are they capable of learning new information, but they also tend to pass down that information to their young ones. It has been established that dolphins are the smartest animals in the world. This article will delve into the topic of how smart they are in detail.

  1. Research suggests that there are different groups of dolphins that have their own communication language. It is similar to different tribes in our world.
  2. Dolphins are one of the few animals to pass the mirror test. Unlike most animals, dolphins can recognize themselves in the mirror. This means they have physical self-awareness.
  3. Dolphins give their calves distinct whistles. The self-awareness helps them identify themselves through the whistles. The whistles are like their names.
  4. Another incredible aspect of dolphin intelligence is empathy. They show kindness and empathy towards anyone who is in pain or hurt. Several accounts of dolphins saving humans have been reported. They are also known to mourn the loss of a loved one. They are capable of showing grief like humans.
  5. Complex communication skills mean dolphins can work as teams. There is a famous case of dolphins in Florida that use a unique method of catching fish. One dolphin kicks the mud to create a smokescreen for the fish to get distracted. Another dolphin signals other dolphins in the area. Then they all line up and catch the fish. Such sophisticated planning, execution, and co-operation are rarely found in the animal kingdom. In countries like India, Myanmar, and Brazil, dolphins assist humans in fish hunting. They lure the fish to the shore and then signal the humans to cast the nets. The dolphins take the fish that escape the nets.
  6. Dolphin’s ability to survive for so many years comes from their willingness to hunt in groups to ward off any predators. They also protect their young ones by keeping them close.

How Big Are Dolphin Brains?

Dolphins have gone through millions of years of evolution, and their brain is second largest to that of human beings. The evolution began some 50 million years ago with a four-legged walking mammal. The mammal set out into the water. Due to changes to the temperature of the ocean, these mammals adapted to aquatic life.

Just like humans, they can manipulate their surroundings to their advantage. One group of Australian dolphins wears a sponge on their bottlenose to protect it from getting scraped during a fish hunt in the coral. However, they are not as advanced to create tools.

Dolphin’s intelligence comes from their large-sized brains. The brain-to-body ratio is second to that in human beings. Larger brains have more neurons and the ability to build memory, learn skills, and create pathways.

Compared to humans, dolphins possess small-sized frontal lobes. It is the part of the brain that dominates memory, communication, and problem-solving. However, their paralimbic system is well-developed. The paralimbic system deals with emotions. It helps enable emotional responses and complex social relationships. Some experts believe dolphin’s paralimbic systems to be more advanced compared to humans.

Dolphin brains have specialized cells known as spindle neurons. These neurons help dolphins remember, recognize, adapt, communicate, and reason with other dolphins.

Undoubtedly, dolphins are small mammals that are curious, intelligent, and playful. Their complex social skills help them build a relationship with human beings. With our deep understanding of the intelligence levels of cetaceans like dolphins, you need to respect them. If they can empathize with those who are vulnerable, surely we can extend the same courtesy to these remarkable creatures.

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