Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dolphins Say Scientist A Dim Wit

A scientist in South Africa is claiming Dolphins are dumber than goldfish.

An examination of cetacean brain structure with a novel hypothesis correlating thermogenesis to the evolution of a big brain

Paul R. Manger

Biological Reviews, Volume 81, Issue 02, May 2006, pp 293-338

Of course he is from a country that once said the same thing about blacks.

I guess you could call this species profiling.

Was his research published in Science or Nature? Nope it was published in the obscure journal;
"Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society".
Which warns its authors that; "articles are aimed at non-specialist biologists". In other words 'generalists'.

Conclusions about the nature and magnitude of dolphin intelligence have not yet been reached. There are many different species of dolphin (see the cetacea article for a full list) and generalisations can be easily misapplied; cognitive differences between dolphin species may be as marked as differences between humans and the great apes."

Most researchers agree that bottle-nose dolphins exhibit a level of intelligence greater than that of a dog and even comparabole to that of some primates--but NOT humans.

"Intelligence" is a term with many definitions and interpretations. It's difficult enough to measure in humans let alone other animals. Large brains are traditionally associated with greater intelligence, and the brain of the adult bottlenose dolphin is about 25% heavier than the average adult human brain. Generally though, larger mammals tend to have larger brains, and so a more accurate estimate of brain power comes from the ratio of brain size to body size - the "encephalisation quotient" (EQ). While river dolphins have an EQ of 1.5, some dolphins have EQs that are more than double those of our closest relatives: gorillas have 1.76, chimpanzees 2.48, bottlenose dolphins 5.6. The bottlenose's EQ is surpassed only by a human's, which measures 7.4 (Australopithecines - hominids that lived around 4m years ago - fall within the dolphin range: 3.25-4.72). But we don't know enough about the workings of the brain to be sure of what these anatomical measurements truly represent. Today, most scientists share the view that it is behaviour, not structure, that must be the measure of intelligence within a species.Guardian Unlimited | Life | Deep thinkers

A Comparison of Primate and Dolphin Intelligence as a Metaphor
Kenneth W. LeVasseur - Dolphin Intelligence & Captivity
Proof of whale and dolphin intelligence

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