Dolphins are intriguing animals with very interesting behavioral patterns. Let us together learn whether these mammals think.
Dolphins think and are quite intelligent with their specialized brain cells and perpetually active brains. They have spindle neurons that help them perform complex tasks such as remembering, reasoning, adapting, communicating, recognition, and so on. They are often considered to be among the most intelligent oceanic species, along with whales.
There are a lot of questions that people frequently ask about dolphins and their intelligence. Although it is not possible to answer all of them, here are some interesting facts about dolphins and their cognitive abilities.
Image Credits: “Dolphin [P6262297-156-1]” by RC_Fotos is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
How do dolphins think?
Curious to know how dolphins think and go about their daily lives? Let us learn more about it together.
Dolphins, like whales, have spindle neurons which are special brain cells that are associated with abilities such as recognition, communication, reasoning, remembering, perceiving, and understanding. These neurons also help the animal adapt to change and think clearly. Other cetaceans like whales and porpoises also have similar spindle neurons and are quite intelligent.
Safe is to say that dolphins have a complex brain structure that allows them to think deeply, and they are highly perceptive as well. This makes them one of the smartest sea mammals, and they put this intelligence to great use when they are trying to escape danger or hunt for potential prey.
What do dolphins think of humans?
Now that we know dolphins think and are quite perceptive, are you wondering what they think of human beings? Let us find out.
Dolphins are not particularly aggressive towards human beings unless and until they feel threatened by them. In fact, most dolphins are quite friendly towards humans as long as they are treated well. Unlike other animals, dolphins are quick to form a rapport with humans because they see them as solitary creatures who can be easily befriended.
Another interesting point to note here is that dolphins are usually quite aggressive towards other animals and actively hunt them down, but they do not display the same aggression towards humans because they do not view them as potential prey. Dolphins are extremely intelligent and perceptive and therefore display tremendous empathy towards humans. However, there are always exceptions to the norm.
What do dolphins think of other animals?
Wondering what dolphins think of their fellow animals in the ocean? Let us tell you all about it.
Dolphins either avoid other animals or think of them as potential prey. They are fierce predators and are primarily considered to be massive bullies who hunt and kill for the sake of it, even if they are not actively looking for prey. Dolphins hunt quite indiscriminately (being opportunistic feeders), and they prey on sharks, smaller dolphins, fishes, crabs, squid, and so on.
Dolphins are not friendly with other animals like they are with humans and often react either with aggression or avoidance. Some dolphin species are quite social and usually hang out together, but other than that, dolphins have seldom shown an affinity toward other animals.
Do dolphins have to think about breathing?
Breathing is an important function for dolphins. But do they have to actively think about breathing? Let us find out together.
Dolphins have to think about breathing since it is not an automatic process for them, and it needs to be consciously controlled. As you might already know, dolphins do not have gills and need to travel all the way to the surface to breathe. Therefore, they need to actively choose when to breathe and travel to the ocean’s surface accordingly.
When asleep, one-half of the dolphin’s brain is always awake so that they do not go into a state of unconsciousness. If they do not keep their brain awake, they are likely to suffocate and drown. Being voluntary breathers, dolphins have to train their mind and tell it when to breathe.
How intelligent are dolphins?
Image Credits: “Dolphin Crest” by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Now that you know how emotionally perceptive dolphins are, you may be wondering how to determine their intelligence. Let us help you in this regard.
Dolphins are highly intelligent animals and are considered the most intelligent aquatic animals. However, it is not possible to determine their IQ as there is no set parameter through which you can determine their intelligence. That being said, their behavioral patterns, excellent recognition skills, and perceptiveness all vouch for their intelligence.
As per research, dolphins are considered to be among the most intelligent mammals on the planet, alongside humans and chimpanzees. When it comes to intelligence, they can easily adapt to their surroundings and have incredible memory and recognition skills. Besides, they are quick learners and can easily tackle challenging situations.
Dolphins are quite intelligent, with acute observation skills and mirroring patterns. They understand symbol-based communication and abstract concepts and are quick learners as well. These animals have a strong sense of community and are eager to help each other out.
The reason why dolphins usually do not harm humans is that they are quite perceptive and view them as non-threatening creatures. Another interesting aspect about dolphins is that they have a unique communication pattern, choosing to communicate via whistles, squeaks, clicks, and a wide variety of noises.