Subject: intelligence,dolphins

Dagmar Fertl (dagmar_fertl@hotmail.com)
Wed, 22 Sep 1999 06:13:51 PDT

My name is Melissa and I have an extreme fascination with dolphins.  My 
question to you is:  What makes dolphins so intelligent?  It is almost like 
they know what we are saying to them. Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely,
Melissa
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Melissa,

I ran a search on the WhaleNet website, and there were several hits for 
intelligence within the archives for A.S.K. Have you had a chance to search 
the entire WhaleNet website to see if your question had been answered 
before?

The question of intelligence is difficult, since people compare animal 
intelligence to that of humans (and human intelligence has to sometimes be 
questioned!).

You have to consider that humans and dolphins live in two different 
environments - land vs water.

Many people base intelligence on the ability to use and comprehend language 
(syntax and semantics), learning skills, and behavior (such as complex 
social organization).  Dolphins appear to be adept at all of those.

Many people look at the size and characteristics of the brain of dolphins 
and say that makes them intelligent.

Hope this answers your question.

Dagmar

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