Dolphin Intelligence: A Closer Look

Dolphin Intelligence - A Closer Look

Human intelligence has reached great potential. Humans have the ability to communicate and use tools, and these abilities have led to the development of technology and the birth of many cultures. Like humans, some animals considered to be intelligent are also capable of using tools, communicating, and even experiencing emotions, like dolphins.

Brain Size and Encephalization Quotient

Although brain size does not directly mean that one species is smarter than the other, the encephalization quotient (EQ) can still be a factor.

The EQ of a certain species is determined by the ratio of their brain size to their actual body size. It’s not surprising that humans ranked number one with the highest EQ at 7.4. But how about bottlenose dolphins? What’s amazing is that they ranked second with an EQ of 5.3. This shows that dolphin EQs are notably higher than other animals.

So, if you’re scratching your head to know the answer to the question, “Why are dolphins so intelligent?” Their brain size and EQ may have a significant role to play.

Proof of Dolphin Intelligence

How intelligent are dolphins? There are many studies and research proving how a dolphin can learn things from its surroundings. It shows that dolphins have complex problem-solving and communication skills.

In an experiment conducted by the Dolphin Research Center in Florida, results showed that a dolphin’s problem-solving skills are extensive. Tanner the dolphin showed his problem-solving capabilities when his eyes were blindfolded.

Tanner had to imitate the actions of humans and other dolphins. Tanner’s eyes were covered with latex suction cups. He used his hearing to determine the position and the proximity of his trainer and the other dolphins to copy his trainer’s swimming styles even without seeing him.

Here are more dolphin intelligence facts:

1. Dolphins use tools.

Researchers found out that a group of dolphins inhabiting an area in Shark Bay, Australia, are using tools. Some dolphins were looking for cone-shaped sea sponges, and then they carried them from the ocean floor. Using their beaks, they carried the sponges to look for food in their hunting ground. They used the sponge to explore the sand and look for hiding fish.

This is called “sponging.” Researchers believe that dolphins use them to protect their snouts when hunting for food. This evidence not only shows the extent of their intelligence but also how complex their social skills are. “Sponging” has been passed down from mother dolphins to their daughters.

2. Dolphins form bonds through certain interests.

Another group of researchers in Shark Bay, Australia, is observing the same group of dolphins. They found out that dolphins form friendships through shared interests like “sponging.” They noticed that dolphin spongers spend more time with other dolphin spongers compared to non-spongers. It indicates that the behavior is an essential factor in the formation of their friendships.

3. Dolphins have names.

According to a study in the year 2013, dolphins have names, and they call each other by them. Dolphins have pods or unique groups, and they have signature whistles. Researchers recorded the whistles, played them to the pod, and watched if they would respond. Individual dolphins only responded to their own name by doing their own whistle as acknowledgment. Of course, researchers also tried playing other whistles to unique pods, and they didn’t respond. This goes to show that they only answer to certain calls.

See Dolphins Up Close

If you and your loved ones want to see these intelligent dolphins up close, Sunshine Scenic Tours can arrange that for you. SST offers one of the best sunset dolphin cruises in St. Pete Beach. Our rates are affordable, and you can be confident that you’ll be able to encounter them and take picture-perfect snapshots. Book with us now!

Feeling Adventurous? Check out our other cruises!

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