Such is our intrigue with our large-brained ocean friends, hundreds of books and articles have been written about their unusual intelligence. You can check out a summary of what we know about dolphin minds on AFD's Dolphin Intelligence page, or please find some of the most fascinating resources we've come across listed below.
In this fascinating documentary, Sir David Attenborough asks: “Whales and dolphins, like humans, have large brains. But how close are their minds to our own?”. We meet Professor Denise Herzing, who theorises that she will be able to hold a conversation with wild dolphins within five years, meet a group of Mexican grey whales who seem to empathise with humans and even have a concept of forgiveness, and see how Western Australian dolphins strategise to steal octopuses from stingrays.
Available from the ABC shop here.
Dr Diana Reiss, a leading dolphin researcher based at Hunter College in New York, takes readers through what we have discovered about dolphin minds, from John Lilly’s groundbreaking work on their language to the latest scientific discoveries. Reiss also shares anecdotes about the behaviour of dolphins she has worked with which will surprise and amaze you. According to The New York Times, "one comes away from Reiss’ book agreeing that ‘dolphins are among the smartest creatures on the planet’ and that they merit not just our attention but our care and protection".
Available on Amazon here.
Karl Erik Fichtelius, a Swedish medical scientist, challenges the common assumption that, as other large-brained mammals have not developed civilisations equivalent to our own, they do not measure up to us in intelligence. Our species has had its large brain and its potential for probably 250,000 years, but only suddenly began cultivating the soil and developing a written language perhaps 10,000 years ago. Could other large-brained animals such as dolphins also have untapped potential?
Available from Amazon here.
If your kids or students love dolphins and would be interested in learning more about them, AFD can send you an information pack full of facts and fun for primary school kids. Please just let us know by contacting Sarah.