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Dokta

Dolphin Intelligence

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The only reason humans are smarter than dolphins is because of our culture and tools. We have hands and an environment where tools can be easily made and used. Plus in order to eat meat we needed to use tools to hunt. Dolphins don't need them. They are perfect hunters, do not have hands, and an underwater environment doesn't have as many tool uses.

 

Dolphins couldn't use tools as we know them. They don't have our hands. If dolphins use tools, it could be they would not be recognizable as tools by our standards.

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It's times like this I wish there was a mathematical basis for language. I know there are statistical figures for trends in language, as in, estimating numbers of words two languages have in common by virtue of relation and how long they've been seperated... but never any mathematical basis for syntax and vocabulary. While "I want to talk to dolphins" is the kiss of death for any marine biologist, it still plagues us to no end.

 

This, like paleoanthropological family trees of hominids, is something we just don't have sufficient understanding to answer yet.

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This, like paleoanthropological family trees of hominids, is something we just don't have sufficient understanding to answer yet.

 

actually, we understand this quite well. The record isn't quite perfect, but then, the fossil record on the whole is far from perfect. But it is still sufficient.

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True, Donald Johansen uncovered A. afarensis and A. africanus years ago, and we have studied some fossils much higher in quality than those previously found... but there is no absolute view on paleoanthropology. The interrelationship between A. afarensis and H. habilis are a 2 million year blank in the fossil record, unless something new's been found that I am unaware of. We still don't know what came between the two.

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True, Donald Johansen uncovered A. afarensis and A. africanus years ago, and we have studied some fossils much higher in quality than those previously found... but there is no absolute view on paleoanthropology. The interrelationship between A. afarensis and H. habilis are a 2 million year blank in the fossil record, unless something new's been found that I am unaware of. We still don't know what came between the two.

 

true, but again, you can't blame fossils for not forming. One must admit that our account of hominid evolution is good, real good compared to our account of lots of other animals.

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Dolphins have to be smart. They aren't people smart, because they have neither the capability nor need; they don't have hands, as mentioned before.

 

Their echo location is very accurate and complicated though, and would require a simmilar brain power requirement as our dexterous hands, or so I've read. The controlling of those massive muscle groups also has need of much brain power.

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I have heard that no only can dolphins use their own echo location to locate objects, but other dolphins "pings" in the pod can also be heard, and the angle of reflection and distance of the ping allows the dolphins to build up a 3D picture in their mind.

 

Perhaps this is analogous to language, as they share information about their environment....

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Where would be the best place to swim with wild dolphins and when. If I get enough cash together I would like to try it. Are they generaly safe to swim with ( wife and two children to take into account ). I think to learn their language you would need to be with them in the wild for long periods and see everything they do including sonic imaging. I don't know if the technology is available but if two recorders could be attached to two dolphins in a pod with video audio and sonic information being recorded from the dolphins point of view I dont see why we could not learn their language. I suppose a robot might be kinder but it wouldn't give the right view point.

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Sea World has a new "swim with dolphins" thing. You have to pay extra, of course, but my sister was very happy with it when she tried it.

 

Mokele

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Where would be the best place to swim with wild dolphins and when.

 

That would be a never. Wild dolphins are just like tigers and lions, very large wild animals that have the ability to be dangerous and are ultimately unpredictable. It's also against federal law to harass a marine mammal, a la the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. If you want, schedule a trip for your family to Discovery Cove in Cape Canaveral. Their site can be found at : http://www.discoverycove.org/

 

I think to learn their language you would need to be with them in the wild for long periods and see everything they do including sonic imaging.

 

If only it were so easy. Wild dolphins and wild orcas especially have been studied in the wild seriously since the late 1970's. There's yet to be developed a safe, non-invasive recording device that can actually be attached to a dolphin, and while dolphins are incredibly intelligent, they also chatter like a pack of schoolgirls. There's been many tapes of dolphins recorded both in wild and captivity, but as of yet, there's been no real conclusions on tapes of wild bottlenose dolphins (to my knowledge). There has been some effort made in terms of orcas which was more conclusive, but still, we don't exactly have a dolphin-to-English dictionary yet.

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Have a human baby be raised by apes. Have this human raised by apes and a dolphin go through a gauntlet of problem solving tests.

 

Thats the only way to put a human and dolphin on fair ground. A normal human grows up with technology, and an education. We are taught how to use tools, how to solve problems, how to learn.

 

Just as a trained dog will appear to be more intelligent than an untrained dog that is otherwise the same. A trained human, which all humans are, cannot be approached except by similar training and education. A cave man could have the same potential intelligence as someone today, but without proper education, without an advanced enough language, they can only get so intelligent.

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Thanks for that info Blackfin and Mokele. I know some effort has been made with recordings of dolphins but I realy meant to see and hear everything the dolphin does from its point of view might give more success. Like a dolphin hears vocal noise and then you see where it looks what it does etc. It would mean having a device on th dolphin for a long time and either transmitting the info back to a recorder or recovering a recording later. The longer the observation the better. For example if you spoke swedish and I wanted to figure out your language in the same way, you might say apple and glance at an apple. The apple might not be centered in your field of vision but a bus is so, I think from from this short observation that the swedish word for apple means bus. Now add in sonar and it might mean you were looking at an object behind the bus like a lamp post, so I could be even further from the answer. You may have just made reference to an apple but not be able to see an apple. This is why I think a long term study is required. If seventy percent of the time you said apple you then picked up an apple or an apple was in your field of view or even the person you said apple to then picked up an apple, I could be more certain I had the correct meaning. Thats why I also said two recordings to interaction between two dolphins.:) Just thought I would clarify my meanings. Not very successfull was I :D

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What a scientist needs to do to understand dolphin language is study a pod of dolphins that has a pregnat dolphin. When the baby is born, it will have to learn the pods language and its mother will be giving alot of teaching. This would be a great opportunaty to for us to be taught the language.

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Hmmm some must be inbuilt though, I dont think babies learn how to make sounds like goo and ga and ma and pa, they just do make them.

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Guest kristyv08

see the whole thing is that dolphins just like humans and any other mammal have to learn somehow they may not learn goo goo and ga and ma and pa but they learn how to use there "chirps" to get what they want and to tell others what they see and how they feel i think that it would be a great time to go and study them you wouldnt neccesarily learn everything but you would see what happens when the newborn says somethign how the rest of the pod acts and what happens around them

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They are still screwed,

 

They don’t have hands.

 

And fire won’t start in water.

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reverse: I'm not even going to touch that statement. It would break all the forum's rules about polite posting.

 

Kristy: Great idea, but tell me, when you stick a hydrophone down into the water, how are you gonna tell one dolphin's chirps from another's if there's eight of them in front of you?

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