By Maddalena Bearzi

Bearzi is the dolphin biologist and Stanford is the primatologist. The "parallels" among nice apes and dolphins that the authors converse of include typically within the use of what we name "intelligence" of their diversifications to existence. for this reason this can be a comparability of dolphin intelligence with primate intelligence, and naturally implicitly with human intelligence.

The sections in the chapters are written first on one species after which at the different in order that dolphin social habit, for instance, will be in comparison with primate social habit (Chapter four) or that their navigation via their differing environments can equally be in comparison as in "Swimming with Dolphins, Swinging with Apes" (Chapter 3).

I was once semi-surprised to benefit that wild bottlenose dolphins even with out arms have still been saw utilizing tools--or a t least one software, a sponge worn as "a nostril cap." the most hypothesis this is that the dolphins use the sponges "to defend themselves from a number of damaging and poisonous organisms close to the ocean ground and to prevent the abrasive sand, rocks, and damaged shells that clutter the deep waters..." (pp. 144-145).

Of direction dolphins in sea indicates were taught to take advantage of balls and different items as "tools for entertainment"--which brings me to this attention: is dolphin intelligence constrained by means of the truth that dolphins haven't any palms with which to exploit instruments? The authors appear to imagine so, and at any expense the sponge use is the single instance of software use within the wild that they file. Which brings up the query of ways a lot can we rather find out about dolphin habit and intelligence? gazing animals in zoos or as a part of a theatric convey is something; staring at animals within the wild is one other. Animals within the wild behave in ways in which may perhaps shock us, and our wisdom of the use and volume of dolphin intelligence will be constrained simply because we aren't capable of systemically keep on with them within the wild.

The related is right for chimpanzees and different primates. within the February, 2010 factor of "National Geographic" there's a fascinating article through Joshua Foer (with photographs through Ian Nichols) approximately an come upon with chimps within the Congo's Nouabale-Ndoki nationwide Park. not like different areas in Africa the chimps encountered the following had it seems that by no means visible people prior to. Their behavior--full of interest and "approach/avoidance" monitors together with nesting in a single day within the timber without delay above the camp of biologists Dave Morgan and Crickette Sanz--proved such a lot magnificent. The chimps spent a part of the evening "testing" the people by way of throwing down urine and feces onto the tents and howling! it is a bit assorted from different reviews that i've got read.

In "Beautiful Minds," the authors speculate on no matter if dolphins and apes have "a conception of mind"--that is, whether or not they are conscious of what others could be pondering and whether or not they have a feeling of self. a few dolphins have been "marked with black ink in a space in their our bodies no longer seen to them. they can, despite the fact that, suppose the ink. A reflect used to be provided, and the dolphins have been watched to work out in the event that they have been visually tracking their our bodies to discover the ink spot." a few have been. (pp. 180-181) this means self-awareness. In chimps it has lengthy been identified that they realize themselves in mirrors and notice that the picture within the reflect isn't really another chimp. right here it truly is suggested that an Asian elephant "was additionally in a position to move the replicate self-recognition try, time and again touching a white X at the facet of her head together with her trunk." (p. 180)

What is obvious to me is that the nice intelligence verified via chimps, bonobos and dolphins (and people, incidentally) is essentially the results of the necessity to comprehend and negotiate the advanced social relationships they've got with others. this can be the major to the expansion of those large brains. yet intelligence outlined because the skill to resolve difficulties applies on to the quest for and procurement of meals. Dolphins use cooperative searching to enclose and strength to the skin faculties of fish so they can't simply break out. They even use bubbles to confuse and confine the fish. Apes use their minds to discover and keep in mind the place and once they stumbled on end result in season in an enormous forest.

Ape intelligence is seemingly constrained by means of their lack of ability to shape summary ideas, specially when it comes to language that might let them go on details to others. on the subject of dolphins this isn't so transparent seeing that we're at a loss whilst attempting to comprehend what they're "saying" or why they do a little of the issues they do. it can be that we are going to locate that dolphins do certainly have a few feel of the summary and will speak approximately issues reminiscent of fish no longer instantly current or activities and occasions some time past or imagined, that is the essence of human conceptual talents. The trick is to have symbols resembling phrases to face for anything now not current or for acts now not in proof. Apes are restricted of their skill to represent. Are dolphins so restricted? we do not but know.

Bearzi and Stanford during this very readable booklet have performed a very good task of bringing to a common readership the various most modern principles and discoveries which are major us towards a better realizing of those specified beings, and naturally to a greater comprehend of ourselves.

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Today more then ever, we are walking a thin line in our connection with these animals. It is true that dolphins are social by nature. But it is also true that dolphins do not always welcome physical contact with humans, and their existence as well as their home require as much respect as we might give to our own. My scientific vision and my affection for these animals were pulling me away f r o m that need for physical contact that we h u m a n s impose on creatures that seem to fulfill our criteria of personhood.

To abruptly stop feeding and take off in an unrelated direction was rather peculiar. Always curious, I left the schooling fish, still visible from the surface, and accelerated into the incoming waves to follow the dolphin group. We were at least three miles offshore when the dolphins stopped suddenly, forming a large ring without exhibiting any specific behavior. That's when 25 BEAUTIFUL MINDS one of my assistants spotted an inert h u m a n body with long, blonde hair floating in the center of the dolphin ring.

We called the local lifeguards on the radio and were told not to touch anything until they arrived, which we promptly disregarded, helping her out of her wet clothes and trying to get her warm by using blankets and contact f r o m our bodies. When we pulled her f r o m the water, she was hypothermic. She began to respond and as we turned to go back to port I noticed that the dolphins were gone. Later at the hospital, a doctor told me that she was f r o m Germany, on vacation in Los Angeles. She was eighteen and was evidently trying to swim offshore to die by suicide.

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