DailyDirt: Are You Smarter Than A Dolphin?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We may think we're pretty smart, but animals like dolphins are pretty smart too. For over 30 years, scientists have been trying to determine how smart dolphins really are. Bottlenose dolphins have a brain-to-body-weight ratio that is only second to humans, and they also have a very complex neocortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for traits typically associated with human intelligence, such as problem-solving and self-awareness. Researchers have even found that dolphins have von Economo neurons, which are associated with emotions, social cognition, and the ability to sense what others are thinking. Besides dolphins, people may be underestimating the intelligence of animals in general. Here are just a few links related to animal smarts. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    burun estetiği, 27 Feb 2013 @ 6:18pm


    it's a web app that lets dog owners record the results of their experiments, which involve playing games with their dogs designed to assess five dimensions of intelligence (empathy, communication, cunning, memory, and reasoning). The data collected from the Dognition project could help scientists better understand the way dogs think and behave.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Bergman (profile), 27 Feb 2013 @ 7:56pm

    I've got unusually acute hearing. I've always been able to tell the difference, even the really subtle nuances, of what a dog is saying vocally.

    I can also hear some of the lower-pitched silent dog whistles, which can be painfully loud let me tell you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    LDoBe (profile), 27 Feb 2013 @ 8:49pm


    cats are extremely adaptable

    Bullmess! Every single cat I've had (5 over the years) goes hungry if I move her food dish by as little as a meter. The cats I've had simply won't eat if anything's out of place even slightly. If that's adaptable, then I have a horse that solves arithmetic problems to sell you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2013 @ 3:00am

    While humans may have trouble distinguishing between a "food growl" and a "stranger growl,"

    that's funny as there is a doco going around where there has been a great deal of research into human / dog interaction and in it they recorded dogs making various barks, people who own dogs could tell the type of bark from the recording with almost 100% accuracy. It is very easy for humans to understand dogs body language and barks.

    The doco also shows research that dogs have excellent skills in reading human body language and voice tone. The two combined shows that dogs have evolved along with humans and have formed a human / animal bond that only dogs and humans have.

    I'm sure you would be able to find this doco on TPB, it would be nice if TD was accurate in anything it posts.. even the simple things.

    the doco is called 'the secret life of the dog'

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2013 @ 3:02am

    Re: cats

    ever thought it's you and not your cats that are the problem ?

    mould is 'adaptable' as well, does not make them intelligent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    special-interesting (profile), 28 Feb 2013 @ 3:24am

    No. I do not believe I am smarter than a dolphin. Nuf said.

    If one were to be critical of oneself it is a manifestation of the awareness of ones awareness (of ones awareness. Please let us reach this level). Its quite healthy in the mentally aware department.

    It is hubris to assume that humans are the only intelligent species on the earth. We may be the most aware of our awareness (on the planet Earth) but why is that a litmus test for species that are (still) aware of themselves but at a lower level?

    (metaphorical) Kick.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Ninja (profile), 28 Feb 2013 @ 3:43am

    Humans are arrogant in general. You just have to look down in history to see how Galileo had to deny his heliocentric theory because it was unthinkable that Earth was not the center of the universe. It's the same with animals. We (I'm using it in a general way here) think to be so motherfucking superior to the animals and brand them irrational. But it's obvious they have some degree of rationale of their own. And sometimes they simply pwn our petty existence in terms of intelligence and adaptiveness.

    Nice article, the dolphin story was awesome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 28 Feb 2013 @ 12:19pm


    i might just say, that as a metaphysical test, the one species which wonders whether the other species is smarter than their species, is probably the smarter species...

    (in other words, i don't think dolphins wonder if we are smarter than them, thus proving we are smarter than them...
    if not as pretty)

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2013 @ 3:24pm


    Really? Let's take deer vs. humans. Look how male deer fight over females. They do the same thing year after year, age after age, since time immemorial, and don't seem to learn a dang thing.
    Humans, on the other hand...uh, come to think of it, this isn't the best example...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    special-interesting (profile), 2 Mar 2013 @ 11:26pm


    Wow! An actual metaphorical response! (I am sooo impressed) The infinite reciprocal response is unlimited. (a compliment) of which I will award you with my ultimate congratulations:

    “We are aware of that we are aware of our awareness.”

    Please (am begging you) argue (or intelligently discus) with me.

    Intelligence is a function of thinking and not the slavery to our current thoughts.

    Said before: “what is the difference between thinking and thought” (ask me specifically. I wont expound upon otherwise)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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