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Dolphins...smarter than some people I know


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#1 indy

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:00 AM

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At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools clean.

Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so on. This behaviour is interesting because it shows that Kelly has a sense of the future and delays gratification. She has realised that a big piece of paper gets the same reward as a small piece and so delivers only small pieces to keep the extra food coming. She has, in effect, trained the humans.

Her cunning has not stopped there. One day, when a gull flew into her pool, she grabbed it, waited for the trainers and then gave it to them. It was a large bird and so the trainers gave her lots of fish. This seemed to give Kelly a new idea. The next time she was fed, instead of eating the last fish, she took it to the bottom of the pool and hid it under the rock where she had been hiding the paper. When no trainers were present, she brought the fish to the surface and used it to lure the gulls, which she would catch to get even more fish. After mastering this lucrative strategy, she taught her calf, who taught other calves, and so gull-baiting has become a hot game among the dolphins.

https://www.theguard...esearch.science

#2 J-CA

    Probably in one of my drunken stupors..

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:19 AM

This is awesome.

Now imagine how much better that paragraph would have been if the author had the wisdom to exclude the "she has, in effect, trained the humans" - because, you know, she hasn't trained the humans at all.
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#3 LFC

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 01:57 PM

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#4 LFC

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:06 PM

I go offshore multiple times each year. One behavior I've seen repeatedly concerns mother-calf pairs riding the bow wave of the boat. Across several species mom won't let junior be right next to the hull. When the kid (being a kid) manages to do it she'll submerge a little, slip her dorsal fin between the hull and the calf, and nudge junior to the outside. They're allowed to play, just not right next to the boat.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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