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6 Amazing Facts About Dolphin Intelligence


Dolphins are amazing creatures. Not only are they actually mammals instead of fish – despite living in the ocean, but they’re actually fairly intelligent compared to other animals too!


We can see the appeal for dolphins since they look incredibly adorable, but let me tell you about some facts about dolphins that’ll show you that they have brains and beauty.



They Set Traps And Plan Ahead
Once upon a time in Mississippi, dolphins were trained to collect trash and then exchange it for fish. Seems like a simple thing to do, right? Well, a dolphin named Kelly turned it up a notch. She collected pieces of paper, tore them into smaller pieces and exchanged all the small pieces so she could get more fish than the big piece would get her. This pretty much proves dolphins have the intelligence to leave the small reward now if that means a bigger reward later.

This same dolphin later caught a seagull in her tank and got a whole boatload of fish as a reward for that. She left the fish out in the open to draw in more seagulls, and even taught the seagull trap to her offspring.

They’re Good Mimics
Dolphins are one of the few animal species on the planet that are actually good at mimicking vocals and behavior. They’re even able to replicate sounds that don’t appear within their own ecosystem! They can even mimic human movement – but they’ll only do so for a reward. This proves that they can understand that their flippers are essentially the equivalent to a human’s arms.

They Wear Sponges As Masks
It might not sounds like something logical to do, but dolphins wear sponges to protect their faces in the ocean. Not to sneak up on fellow dolphins and scare them as a prank, but to protect their noses from crabs and rocks on the ocean bottom.

They Get High
Sidenote: no one is trying to claim that getting high is a sign of superior intellect. That said, the fact that dolphins huff pufferfish toxins to get high proves that they do things for fun instead of purely out of instinct. And that, kids, is a sign of evolved intellectual capacity.

They Have Huge Brains
While dolphins may not have as much neurons as humans, their brain has a larger weight. This might not prove all that much, but it’s also proven that while the dolphin’s brain doesn’t have some functions that humans have, like empathy, they have other ones that are entirely foreign to us – like echolocation.

They Have Self-Awareness
Perhaps the biggest shock, especially when talking about animals, is that dolphins have self-awareness. This was tested by painting a dot on their foreheads and introducing them to a mirror. The dolphins instantly can tell that something isn’t right with their regular appearance, which proves that dolphins know what they look like. This is fairly unique in the animal kingdom.