320 pages, no illustrations
How intelligent are dolphins? ls their communication system really as complex as human language? And are they as friendly and peaceful as they are made out to be?
The Westem world has had an enduring love affair with dolphins since the early 1960s, with fanciful claims of their 'healing powers' and 'super intelligence'. Myths and pseudoscience abound on the subject. Justin Gregg weighs up the claims made about dolphin intelligence and separates scientific fact from fiction. He puts our knowledge about dolphin behaviour and intelligence into perspective, with comparisons to scientific studies of other animals, especially the crow family and great apes. He gives fascinating accounts of the challenges of testing what an animal with flippers and no facial expressions might be thinking. Presenting the results of the latest research in animal behaviour, Gregg challenges many of the widespread beliefs about dolphins, while also inspiring the reader with the remarkable abilities common to many of the less glamorized animals around us – such as chickens.
"Are Dolphins Really Smart? makes an important contribution to discussions of animal intelligence. Justin Gregg examines the 'myth of the intelligent dolphin' and gives us a rational, scientific view of what dolphins are really capable of doing. He writes in a very readable and convincing way about the various claims that have been made and leaves us with a realistic, if not entirely flattering, picture of dolphin life and behaviour."
– Marian Stamp Dawkins, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
1: The Second Most Intelligent Creature on Earth
2: What Big Brains You Have
3: Cogito Ergo Delphinus Sum
4: The Proof of the Pudding is in the Behaving
6: A Most Gentle Mammal
7: The Deconstructed Dolphin
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Justin Gregg is a research associate with the Dolphin Communication Project, and Co-Editor of the academic joumal Aquatic Mammals. He received his doctorate from Trinity College Dublin in 2008, having studied social cognition and the echolocation behavior of wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. With an undergraduate background in linguistics, Justin is particularly interested in the study of dolphin communication as it pertains to comparisons of human (natural) language and animal communication systems.