How smart are Dolphins Actually?



People have been fascinated with dolphins for a long period of time now, probably due to their unique looks and temperament compared to other animals. If you have heard or seen a dolphin before, you have probably heard of their superior intelligence when compared with other mammals. There are not many great means of measuring an animals intelligence, but Dolphins exhibit behavior that is almost completely unique to the animal kingdom.

Humans once thought we were alone in the capability to relay information to other members of our species, but scientists have recently learned that dolphins not only have the ability to learn, but they also possess the ability to relay new information to other dolphins. This is an entirely unprecedented behavior in the animal kingdom, and dolphins exhibit actions considered far beyond the reach of a typical aquatic animal like mimicking human behavior to acquire food or their tendency to have complex social hierarchies.


In this enlightening video produced by popular scientist Lori Marino, he illuminates what truly makes dolphins unique. The first factor that distinguishes dolphins’ intelligence from other mammals is their brain size, where they are only second to human beings in terms of body mass and brain size ratio. This hypothesis tests whether brain size has a direct correlation on intelligence, and dolphins display such complex behavior that astounds and intrigues humans in the form of echolocation, in-depth social circles, navigation, and communication.

While all of these facts about dolphins are fairly interesting and seem to poise the dolphin as completely unique animal similar to humans, one first must compare similar behaviors exhibited by other animals. According to the Boston Globe, even chickens have the ability to remember social groups, communicate with one another, and a form of learning. Justin Gregg, in his new book, “Are Dolphins Really Smart? The Mammal Behind the Myth.” The psychologist Gregg argues that while their unique clicking to identify themselves or their intentions is impressive. He also refutes the popular opinion that brain size is linked to intelligence, and despite the fact the dolphins’ brain is larger than a humans, this does not automatically link them to advanced intelligence.

There also remains the misconception that dolphins are inherently peaceful creatures, which bolsters the myth debunked by current science as they display aggressive behavior similar to that of other large complex mammals. Overall, while dolphins do exhibit various behaviors considered unique and intelligent, they are simple mammals that replicate the same actions some other mammals act. Additionally, dolphins are not the majestic aquatic sea creature people believe they know, but are complex mammals that act aggressive and defensive when necessary.



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