Monday, September 12, 2011

The Blueblood and the Beast

Two recently released studies with Bottlenose Dolphins provide further evidence of their intelligence and sentience.

Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News reported on a study by Peter Madsen at Denmark's Aarhus University that shows that dolphins communicate with each other using a complex physiological process, involving the vibration of connective tissue in their nasal cavities. It is virtually identical to that used by humans in speech and it provides further evidence that the sounds they make are far more complex than the human ear can detect or the human brain can comprehend.

Another study conducted by Joan Gonzalvo at the Tethys Research Institute in Milan, Italy, and reported by Rowan Hooper in the New Scientist, reveals that dolphins clearly understand death and react to it in a profoundly personal manner, especially when it involves their young. Anthropomorphic concerns aside, what is more 'human-like' than mourning the death of a child?

They talk like us, they grieve like us, and yet we still imprison them in tiny concrete tanks and force them to perform stupid animal tricks for our amusement. Or even worse, we slaughter them like the fishermen in Taiji, Japan, are doing right now.

So you tell me, who is the blueblood and who is the beast?

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