Dolphins never cease to amaze humans. While many of us tend to look at them as nothing more than animals. In fact, they are smarter than most humans. South African dolphins are full of surprises. Furthermore, with the intricate social lives they live, dolphin intelligence comes as close to human intelligence than any other animal in the animal kingdom.

Surprising South Africa Dolphin Intelligence Facts

1. Dolphins call each other by name

Dolphin intelligence speech "image"
The speech of dolphins.

In South Africa, just as humans have names they respond to, dolphins have their own names. Unlike us, dolphins will call each other with signature whistles, in order to get the attention of their pod mates. Dolphins are highly social creatures that need to stay in touch at all times to coordinate actions. As a result, when dolphins use these signature whistles, the name of the specific dolphin will answer in response.

2. Dolphins know how to use tools

Dolphins and tools "image"
A dolphin using a sea sponge as a tool.

While dolphins may not have hands, they still have the ability to use tools like humans. In South Africa from the time they are young, dolphins learn to use tools by their parents. In addition, dolphins learn how to use sea sponges to probe for fish hiding in the sand on the ocean floor. Dolphins will also use shells to break apart fish into easy to digest pieces.

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3. Dolphins are so smart, the Navy utilizes them

Dolphins and the Navy "image"
Dolphins in the Navy.

Dolphin intelligence is so significant, the United States military uses dolphins regularly. The Navy uses dolphins to help find underwater mines so they can be disarmed. Dolphins are used similarly to sniffing dogs. In fact, they are used for their echolocation and ability to detect mines in areas divers can’t regularly get to. Furthermore, dolphins are used to alert the Navy of potential enemies in harbors. While the navy doesn’t utilize them in South Africa, they continue to study efforts of dolphin use from the United States.

4. Dolphins can self-recognize earlier than most children

Dolphin self-recognition "image"
Dolphins recognizing themselves and each other.

Children can show signs of self-recognition at around 12 months of age. However, dolphins in South Africa show signs of self-recognition as early as seven months of age. Consequently, this can indicate that they are smarter than most humans. Furthermore, dolphins can recognize the difference between themselves and other dolphins.

5. Have a brain size as close to a human

Dolphin brain "image"
The size and structure of a dolphin brain.

Most dolphins have brain sizes that are as large as a human brain. Similarly, a dolphin’s brain is only 2nd largest in size after a human. Consequently, a dolphin has a significantly large brain for an animal. Because of its brain size, dolphins possess similar communication skills and comprehension of language. This is something no other animal is capable of.

 

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that dolphins are just as smart as humans. Furthermore, dolphins seem to have as much of an understanding of their own intelligence as we do. Even across different species of South African dolphins, dolphins are the smartest animal in the animal kingdom.

Do you think South African dolphins are intelligent? Want to take a trip to South Africa? Let us know in the comments below!

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