Are Dolphins Really Smart?: The mammal behind the myth by Justin Gregg

By Justin Gregg

How clever are dolphins? Is their verbal exchange procedure quite as advanced as human language? And are they as pleasant and peaceable as they're made out to be?

Justin Gregg weighs up the claims made approximately dolphin intelligence and separates clinical truth from fiction. He offers the result of the most recent examine in animal behaviour, and places our wisdom approximately them into standpoint with comparisons to clinical stories of different animals, in particular the crow family members and nice apes. He provides attention-grabbing debts of the demanding situations of trying out what an animal with flippers and no facial expressions may possibly really be considering. Gregg's evidence-based procedure creates a complete and up to date learn of this interesting animal with the intention to entice all these intrigued by way of dolphin behaviour.

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103 Of course, octopuses have been observed using tools,104 and they, technically, don’t have a cerebellum. 105 So exactly what a large cerebellum means for dolphins is unclear. The inescapable problem with comparative neuroanatomy is that it seems that robust links between the presence or size of one specific brain area and performance on specific cognitive tasks across taxa is all too rare. Similar brain regions in different species might serve vastly different functions. But even if function were conserved for analogous brain regions across species, consider that for complex behavioral tasks, numerous brain regions are involved, and the relative importance of one region is not immediately clear.

A dolphin spontaneously inspecting itself in a mirror is clearly more suggestive of complex cognitive processes than a pigeon trained to use a mirror to peck at a spot on its chest. Nonetheless, as we shall see for dolphins, nearly every trait that we consider intelligent in dolphins has been discovered to a lesser or greater extent in other species, and, more often than not, we simply do not know how comparable the cognitive processes that underpin these behaviors really are. Octopus tool use is, by all accounts, equally as (or perhaps more) sophisticated than dolphin tool use.

It’s difficult to say what having a frontal lobe (or not having one) means as far as intelligence goes; ravens and parrots have a larger forebrain structure (somewhat equivalent to a frontal lobe) than other birds, which might explain why they seem to be the most cognitively complex birds. 101 In the end, the importance of having some sort of bulging front-brain structure in order to facilitate complex cognition is by no means a hard and fast rule. If anything, dolphins are evidence that it’s probably not a rule at all.

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