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Headlines Dolphins use tools

RageAgainst

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Dolphins use sponges to fish, researchers say

LONDON, July 17 (Reuter) - Dolphins, already known to be intelligent animals, have been seen using sponges to find food and defend themselves, New Scientist magazine reported on Thursday.

It said University of Michigan expert Rachel Smolker and colleagues watched in Shark Bay, Western Australia, as five female bottlenose dolphins carried sponges on the tips of their snouts while searching for food on the seabed.

Smolker said they appeared to be using the sponges both as protection against stonefish and stingrays and to stir up prey.

Tool use is considered a strong indicator of intelligence and only a few animals have figured out how to use tools. Chimpanzees do, while some birds use rocks to crack open mussels and other food.


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wow, that's pretty cool don't you think.
 

Stardust

Being naked just feels so a-peeling
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it is =)

and birds use spiderweb to make their nest better :D and..those utters..what are they called in english? anyways they use stones to get up those..mussels...
 

Bitch

Evil Fluffy says: I PEE IN YOUR SHOES!
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I knew dolphins were smart but I didn't know they really knew how to use tools. They did discover, like chimps and other monkeys that they also recognise themselves in a mirror. Most animals don't realise they are looking at themselves when facing a mirror but they discovered dolphins are aware of self when it comes to mirrors.

I actually saw the report on tv. It was amazing to see the dolphins so interested in seeing what was marked on their bodies. Here's one article about it from 2001. from the Emory Report

September 4, 2001

Marino: Dolphins check their look in the mirror, too

By Michael Terrazas mterraz@emory.edu



It’s long been suspected that dolphins are the smartest creatures in the sea. But a recent study by Lori Marino suggests the marine mammals are even more intelligent than previously known and possess cognitive abilities thought to exist only in humans and great apes.


Marino, a lecturer in neuroscience and behavioral biology, conducted a three-year study with Diana Reiss, a senior research scientist at the New York Aquarium in Brooklyn, that shows dolphins have the capacity for mirror self-recognition (MSR), a feat of intelligence heretofore thought to be reserved only for Homo sapiens and their closest cousins. The findings were published this past spring in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Marino and Reiss used what is known as a “mark test” to measure the trait; with bottlenose dolphins as their subjects, the researchers marked the animals with a dye in a location not normally visible (for example, the side of the dolphin’s head). In every case, as soon as the animal was marked, it raced to an underwater mirror to check out its look.


The finding holds implications not just for marine biologists or dolphin enthusiasts, but for people like Marino who study cognitive processes and neuroanatomy. Dolphin brains lack a frontal lobe, the region of the brain thought to be responsible for many higher cognitive functions in primates. This finding suggests that, while the frontal lobe certainly plays a major role in primate intelligence, it is not the basis for intelligence in dolphins.


“This is really a striking case of convergent evolution,” said Marino, using a term that means the same trait evolving independently in different species. “It’s interesting that two very different lineages of mammal show the same, very rare capacity. The brains of primates and of dolphins are so different—they haven’t shared a common ancestor for at least 90 million years.”


It also means Marino’s conclusion is finding some resistance among scientists who have a stake in certain theories of cognition that would require revision if dolphin MSR is true. But Marino, a research associate in the Living Links Center at Yerkes, brushed off such professional cynicism with the hope that other researchers replicate her findings.


“Most of my colleagues, especially those who have worked with dolphins, are not surprised by the finding because they’ve had experience with the intelligence of this animal,” Marino said. “Dolphins, chimpanzees and great apes show the same sort of affinity for [certain cognitive] tasks, so I think the proof is in the pudding.”


She also said that working with colleagues like Frans de Waal, one of the world’s leading primatologists, has helped her immensely. “My association with Living Links has been invaluable,” she said. “Frans is a broad-minded scientist and has some very interesting ideas about what the distribution of higher-level cognitive capacities might be in the animal kingdom.”


Marino has been working with dolphins since graduate school, and though she said it can be inconvenient working with an animal not readily available—the closest live dolphins (not swimming free in the ocean) are likely those at Sea World in Orlando, Fla.—she has not had many problems finding research subjects.


“Most of my research on dolphins is on their brain, and I get those postmortem from stranded animals,” Marino said. “But I’ve been able to get access to [live dolphins] and conduct tests. Things are more possible than you would imagine—if you’re persistent.”
 

Stardust

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in "a hitchhiker guide to the galaxy" it says that dolphins are the next smartest in the world and they move, becouse the world is about to explode..mice are the smartest ;) it's a funny book..you should read it :thumbsup:
 

RageAgainst

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thanks bitch, that's pretty cool too.
 

MaxPower

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Sweet. I knew flipper had it in him. The sea otter also uses tools. They'll grab a rock off the floor of the seabed, and lay floating on their back with a clam or some other kind of shellfish on their belly; using the rock to pound it and shatter the shell to reach the meat.


Edit: Found a link: http://www.otternet.com/species/seaotter.htm
 
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Another example of highly intelligent animal behavior:

My cat likes to smoke hash with me :thumbsup: I blow my smoke over her head and she sniffs it up :rotflmao:
 

Jung

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Great thread!

I knew dolphins were smart animals, but tool use is huge in cognitive development.
 

Bitch

Evil Fluffy says: I PEE IN YOUR SHOES!
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Stardust said:
it is =)

and birds use spiderweb to make their nest better :D and..those utters..what are they called in english? anyways they use stones to get up those..mussels...

I read up on a lot of animals. You mention birds. They say the crow/raven is amoung the smartest of the birds. They too use told to get things and they too show signs of some serious thinking. For example. it's been observed that crows, when they can't open a nut with it's beak, it'll fly to the nearest cable over traffic and drop their nut in the street. They'll then go to the side of the street and wait for the green light. Cars run over the nut cracking it for the birds. They wait till they see a red light and traffic stops, then go retrieve the pieces of the nut to eat. Not to mention when doing a test in a lab, the crow was to get a piece of food that was sitting in a little basket out of a tube. THere was a piece of wire next to the tube. The crow figured out in order to get the food out he had to bend the wire and stick it into the tube to pick up the basket and then get the food. The test was repeated many times. Crows are smart birds! Although, parrats are still considered smarter because they can talk, I think something like figuring out how to get food when faced with a difficult situation is more proof of cognitive thinking.
 

Jung

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Bitch said:
Although, parrats are still considered smarter because they can talk, I think something like figuring out how to get food when faced with a difficult situation is more proof of cognitive thinking.
A parrot's ability to "talk" has less to do with intelligence, because they never actually learn to "talk." Parrots only learn to mimic words or phrases which are repeated over and over. You are correct that innovative ways used to gather food, be it with tools or not, shows advanced cognition, though.

A while back I watched a discovery channel special about dolphins that learned to play Tic Tac Toe on a water proof touch screen monitor. They were tested and showed signs of understanding the game as well as responding, and interacting, to other visual stimuli via the monitor. Dolphins are truly intelligent animals.
 

bombchu

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Tic Tac Toe?
I wonder if Dolphins can beat Bush!


... Or Kerry for that matter.