How smart are dolphins?

How smart are dolphins?

Dolphins are considered to be one of the smartest animals living in water. Among the 36 species of dolphins, the aquatic mammals are the ones that look like smiling and also appear to love to play. The family of dolphins, called cetaceans, also include 86 species of animals within whom they share a common link with hoofed animals or ungulates.

Evolution of dolphins

Around 55 million years ago, the land mammals with sharp teeth entered the water.  As there was a temperature change in the ocean during the later years, the prey availability became decreased. The odontocetes species survived the unfavorable living condition and hence ended up with less sharp teeth. Even though they became smaller in size, their brain development was considerably large which eventually helped them in initiating complex social relationships and also in echolocation.

Features of modern dolphins

Modern dolphins are comparatively much advanced and efficient than their ancestors. The size of their brain is so large such that their encephalization quotient i.e. by comparing their brain size with their body size, they secure the second position next to humans.

Social networking

Dolphins maintain and express a well structured social networking. They employ their social networking ability in raising their young ones, to fight against their enemies etc. For instance in Florida, a pod of dolphins works in a methodological way to hunt fish. Like each job assigned to each dolphin, they work together and by intentional communication they succeed in their work. The skills possessed by ancestors are also passed from generation after generation.

Difference in dolphins

The different types of dolphins portray characteristic change in them. One type of dolphins named the ‘Dolphin Sponge Club’ has mastered the ways of covering their rostrums with sponges.

Language Comprehension

Dolphins learn to comprehend language through whistles and gestures.  They also understand both the symbols and syntax in the communication process.

Quality of dolphin

Through a process of metacognition, dolphins recognize their body as well as their thoughts and hence they pass the mirror test. Similar to humans, dolphins also show same, uncertain or different response while comparing different sounds. They also portray attachment, altruism and empathy to others.

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