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Old 28-05-2007, 05:51   #16
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Originally Posted by mudnut
If Dolphins were really as smart and intelligent as we would like to believe,they deffinately would not be swimming around Japan...
... Iwonder, if you took a dog that has allways been spoken to and given comands is Italian and started comanding it in English or French,would it understand as well ... Mudnut.

If people were as smart as I’d like to believe, we wouldn’t build cities in flood planes. Think New Orleans.

”Without hearing a word, a new study asserts, a four-month-old child can tell when speakers switch to another language, simply by observing changes in facial contortions, such as shapes made by the mouth as well as mannerisms...”
Goto:
<i>Parlez Vous</i> English, Baby?: Scientific American
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Old 28-05-2007, 13:05   #17
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Cetaceans are a lot more in tune with their environment than most humans. They certainly know more about the ocean than I do.
Hank Searls "Sounding" is a fun read that puts a different spin on what they are capable of.
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Old 28-05-2007, 13:32   #18
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If people were as smart as I’d like to believe, we wouldn’t build cities in flood planes.
Nor in Earthquake zones, nor under tha shadow of a volcanoe, nor the in the freezing lands of the arctic. Antartic would most likely be included if there was land close to it.
So in saying that, maybe intellegince is the ability to learn to survive in dangerouse places. After all, Dolphins live in one of the most dangerouse environments on Earth and manage to live quite well.
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Old 28-05-2007, 13:49   #19
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Well put, Alan.
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Old 28-05-2007, 14:28   #20
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This reply doesn't directly address the original question of cetacean intelligence but my personal experience swimming with a dolphin in the open ocean certainly reflects on their affinity for human interaction.

Five or six years ago in Grand Cayman my two sons and I had just finished our second SCUBA dive for the day when the divemaster heard radio traffic indicating a friendly dolphin was in the area. We soon spotted it but took some time to find a place to drop anchor away from coral. My boys noticed that the dolphin appeared to become impatient and was starting to swim away so they quickly put on their snorkles and masks and jumped in. The dolphin came up to them so they kept it occupied while the rest of us donned our fins and masks. In one of those memories-for-life moments I actually put my arms around the dolphin and gave it a hug. She definitely enjoyed the human interaction but probably not as much as we humans enjoyed the dolphin interaction. All told, we spent about 45 minutes playing with this remarkable animal. As the humans swam back to the dive boat the dolphin flapped its tail as if to mimic the humans kicking their fins.

The divemasters speculated that this particular dolphin had escaped from a dolphin encounter in Honduras when its pen was destroyed by a hurricane the year before. Whatever the history of the animal, such an encounter was truly remarkable and clearly shows that dolphins are very social animals not too far removed from humans.
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Old 28-05-2007, 14:53   #21
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intellect v/s intelligence

Interesting thread...

...comments on language, tool making, etc.
Anthrocentrism is what we do. It's hard, if not impossible, to get outside of our humanity when observing the world around us. We filter through the human lens. Our closest genetic cousins, the Bonobo chimps, exhibit behavior that is very "human like". But are they intelligent?... of course they are. Do they exhibit intellect??... not so we can tell. Philosophy, art, music, poetry and such are in the realm of intellect.

Cetaceans??... Whales "sing"... is it music??
Do dolphins make art??... maybe their movements while swimming are a form of dance. Do they create poetry??... Who knows?
If we use humans as the benchmark for measuring intelligence, we may never know the answers to these questions.
I do know this... I got hooked on sailing because the first time I ever went out, we encountered a pod of dolphins surfing our bow wave. As I lay on the deck gazing into their eyes, I had the definite sense that they are as intelligent as we are. That experience changed my life forever and I am eternally grateful to the dolphin race for that.

MM
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