5 Ways Dolphins Are Even Smarter Than You Think

Here at Dockside Seafood & Fishing Center, we offer dolphin cruises that take you on an up close and personal trip through the “Dolphin Disneyland” that the Chesapeake Bay is known as. By now, everyone’s heard that dolphins are one of the most intelligent species on the planet, which is part of what makes them so interesting. Here are some surprising examples of their intellect that you may not know.

1)   They’re using you! – Boat passengers love it when a group of dolphins swims alongside their vessel, jumping and diving along its side. But many experts believe that they’re not just doing it for our amusement.  The dolphins are actually intentionally conserving energy by riding with the current of the boat.

2)   Their language is complex – Dolphins communicate with each other through lips in their nasal passage.  Each dolphin has a “signature” whistle they use to identify themselves. They emit a wide variety of noises into the sea, using different frequencies for different social situations.

3)   They see with their own voice – Through the process of echolocation, dolphins emit a series of clicks, sometimes hundreds per second, and listen for the reflection that bounces back from their surroundings. They glean an incredible amount of detail about the size, shape, and distance of objects. While dolphins can see quite well, it’s believed that echolocation is just as, if not more important, to creating a mental image of their environment.

4)   They have complex social roles – Dolphin mothers care for their young as gently and protectively as land mammals do, sometimes nursing with milk for over a year. When traveling in schools, dolphins are given a job to perform, like protecting the young. When they hunt, dolphins surround and herd their prey before taking turns feasting.

5)   They’re highly evolved – Don’t confuse dolphins with their mentally inferior co-inhabitants of the sea. The evolutionary ancestor of the dolphin was actually a wolf-like mammal that lived on land, slowly evolving to survive in deeper and deeper waters. In the embryo stage, the dolphin has four tiny limbs, two of which develop into flippers.

Posted by:Kevin Seldon