Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year Y'all. Dolphins Smarter Than Chimps?

Happy New Year to all my readers, humans and non-humans alike (I've caught my cat reading my blog more than twice). Sorry for not posting this few days but I've been sick since New Year. Suffice to say, 2010 didn't really start on a good note for me.

Apparently 2010 did not start on a good note with my fellow primate, the chimpanzees, either. Lori Marino, a zoologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia claim that the second most intelligent creature after humans are dolphins, not chimpanzees as many researchers believed. Diana Reiss, a psychology professor from Hunter College (CUNY) in New York City found that bottlenose dolphins can recognize themselves in front of the mirror and learn rudimentary symbol-based language. Both Marino and Reiss will present their findings at a conference in San Diego, California, next month. These findings have tremendous implications on human-dolphin interactions, specifically the use of dolphins for entertainment in marine parks.

Sad chimpanzee is sad because he is no longer the second smartest after humans.

Read the article Scientists say dolphins should be treated as 'non-human persons' from Times Online. I wonder if both had any papers that will be published soon about this topic. I've only found Marino & Reiss (2001) Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: A case of cognitive convergence and Marino (2002) Convergence of Complex Cognitive Abilities in Cetaceans and Primates. Why is this story being published in 2010, almost 8 years since the papers were published? Something is fishy here (no puns intended because dolphins are in fact mammals, not fish).

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