It’s no surprise that dolphins are particularly intelligent creatures, as they have large brains and have showed sign of very intelligent activity. But just how far does their intellect go? Read about how smart dolphins are in this article!
Dolphins have been studied closely, anything from their behavior to tests of intellect prowess. Dolphins are typically studied in controlled environments, particularly in captivity, as opposed to viewing them out in the wild. This allows researchers to watch the same dolphins for extended periods of time.
One particular dolphin that researchers have watch has shown signs of intelligence in the form of reason. This dolphin was originally trained to help pick up garbage from the pool it swam in, and upon collecting an item, it would receive a fish as a treat. The dolphin showed its intellect in reason when it was given paper to turn in. The dolphin would swim down to the bottom of the pool, and hide the paper under a rock. Using the weight of the rock, the dolphin would tear off a piece of the paper and turn it in for a reward. Every piece the dolphin tore off, it got another reward of fish. This behavior kept up until something remarkable happened. One day, a bird had flown into the pool and rested on the water’s surface. The dolphin caught the bird, and waited until researchers returned to turn it in. Upon turning it in, the dolphin received many fish, instead of just one. The dolphin then proceeded to hide one of the fish rewards under a rock. When the trainers left, the dolphin would take the fish out and put it on the water’s surface to attract birds, where it would then restart the process, finding a way for an endless and very rewarding method of receiving fish. Not only did this particular dolphin use this technique, it also taught the technique to its young, and in turn, more dolphins started doing this technique.
Dolphins have also displayed the use of tools, namely using sponges. There are many things in the ocean that can cause damage or harm to dolphins, and things like sharp rocks, urchins, and sting rays, that remain on the ocean floor, a prime place that dolphins forage for food. Dolphins have started using sponges in and around their beaks to help them navigate the ocean floor and forage for food on the ocean floor more safely.
Dolphins also have been seen to pass the mirror test. Dolphins, when placed in front of a mirror, can actually recognize themselves in the mirror, helping prove that they are self aware creatures.