Dolphins Not So Bright?

New studies from South Africa call the legendary intelligence of dolphins into question, concluding that whales and dolphins may actually possess no more smarts than goldfish. The fact that they have complex social behaviors may be a red herring, which we mis-identify as intelligence. Chicago Sun-Times:

Yet while dolphins aren’t as smart as people tend to think, they are as happy as they seem. Manger said dolphins have a ”huge amount” of serotonin in their brains, which is what he described as ”the happy drug.”

Not sure I’m buying it. You can’t teach a goldfish basic vocal communications with humans. Goldfish don’t try to save the lives of drowning sailors. Goldfish can’t balance balls on their snouts or plant mines on the sides of ships (granted, goldfish don’t posses the physical attributes to accomplish any of these feats, so it’s not exactly a fair comparison).

The Sun Times article is sourced from the Scripps-Howard News Service, and is short on details. I wasn’t able to turn up corroborating stories easily.

4 Replies to “Dolphins Not So Bright?”

  1. Just wondering: are Dolphins really trying to safe the lives of drowning sailors – or does it just seem that way because all those sailors who weren’t saved didn’t live to tell the tale?

  2. This coming from a country whose idiotic leader, Thabo Mbecki, doesn’t believe AIDS & HIV are caused by a virus. It’s a typical ruse, where they use voodoo-science to effect economic gain, i.e. “AIDS & HIV are caused by the wrath of Allah so we’re not going to pass out condoms or teach sex education,” or “Dolphins aren’t that smart, so it’s okay to have a few in our export-only canned tuna — what, let our citizens eat the good stuff? They’re dying of AIDS and can’t afford it!”

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