Many individuals believe that the answer to this question is yes. But what’s it?
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Who’s smarter than humans?
Last year’s research (2018) indicates that dolphins are extremely intelligent creatures, so much so that in some ways they may exceed human intelligence. Self-awareness is one of those forms.
The research used was a mirror-self-recognition (MSR) test that basically consists of introducing the test participant with a mirror and seeing how long it takes for them to identify themselves.
They are capable of much more than anybody ever realized. They can even generate custom whistles that can be seen as their names equivalent for different pod members. They can fix issues and, without any trouble, interact with each other. Some people truly think that because of their elevated intellect we should treat them as individuals in a sense.
Below is a small extract from the PLOS journal report on the dolphins:
“We exposed two young bottlenose dolphins to an underwater mirror and analyzed video recordings of their behavioral responses over a 3-year period. Here we report that both dolphins exhibited MSR, indicated by self-directed behavior at the mirror, at ages earlier than generally reported for children and at ages much earlier than reported for chimpanzees.
The early onset of MSR in young dolphins occurs in parallel with their advanced sensorimotor development, complex and reciprocal social interactions, and growing social awareness.
Both dolphins passed subsequent mark tests at ages comparable with children. Thus, our findings indicate that dolphins exhibit self-awareness at a mirror at a younger age than previously reported for children or other species tested.
Dolphins have both been here longer than us, and have much larger brains than us. We can learn a lot from these animals whether we seem them as our equals or not.
They should be studied and tested further to see what they are really capable of. A TedEd talk video on dolphins can be seen below which explains how smart dolphins really are.”
Of course, scientists do not think that dolphins will come out of the water and seize the human race in the near future, but they believe that there is something more than we know.