Are dolphins really very smart? A joke and a debate.


As the joke in today’s 308 Really Bad Jokes and 57 Hilarious Puns Page-A-Day® calendar suggests, dolphins are smart. Really smart.

Or is the joke on you? 

Note: With the rise in awareness of animal rights and treatment at ocean wildlife enclosures like Sea World, we want to ensure that we at Page-A-Day® deeply respect sea life... even though we're about to bring dolphins' undisputed intelligence into question.

Some people say that dolphins are almost as smart as humans. Others say they're not very bright at all. Let’s consider the facts, weigh the pros and cons.

In Defense of Dolphin Intelligence

Emory University Professor Lori Marino believes that the brains of dolphins are very similar to human brains based on MRI scans she performed. They have an intricate neocortex that is more complex than our own, and their brains have the built-in capacity for self-awareness and “complex emotions.” Many animals can feel emotions, but dolphins, along with chimps, are on a higher plane of feeling, according to Marino. 

Studies have demonstrated that their large and intricate brains allow each dolphin to have its own unique personality, to be self-aware and to consider the future. They spread cultural traditions and even are said to be able to learn a basic symbol-based language.

It's widely accepted in our society that dolphins are brilliant. In the “Treehouse of Horror XI” Halloween episode of The Simpsons, an army of dolphins is even intelligent enough to wage war against the town of Springfield. This is just one of many cultural references to the fact that dolphins are indeed smart. Remember Flipper?

"No one you see is smarter than he!"

Or do we have it all wrong? Are Dolphins actually dumb?

In 2013, scientists began to dethrone dolphins from their reputations of brilliance. Psychologist Justin Gregg came out with the book, Are Dolphins Really Smart? The Mammal Behind the Myth, and it’s been a downward spiral from there. The whistling thought to be language is actually just, well, whistling. He also argues that there’s no real evidence that dolphins experience complex emotions.

The main argument he holds against dolphin intelligence is that basing projections of their intelligence off of their brain structure isn’t sound science, and the studies that have been done are inconclusive. Therefore, dolphins might not be so smart after all.

So where do you stand on the dolphin intelligence debate? Leave a comment and let us know! 

308 Really Bad Jokes and 57 Puns

About 308 Really Bad Jokes + 57 Hilarious Puns 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar

What did the chickpea say when she had a stomachache? I falafel.

Celebrating 35 years of guffaws, groans, and belly laughs! Now boasting a brand-new name,308 Really Bad Jokes + 57 Hilarious Puns delivers a year of jokes that are so bad, they’re hilarious. Packed with lawyer jokes, knock-knocks, doctor jokes, guy-walks-into-a-bar jokes, and more, it’s family-friendly fun. How many police officers does it take to change a lightbulb? None. It always turns itself in.

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