Download Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and by Maddalena Bearzi PDF

By Maddalena Bearzi

Bearzi is the dolphin biologist and Stanford is the primatologist. The "parallels" among nice apes and dolphins that the authors converse of include ordinarily within the use of what we name "intelligence" of their diversifications to existence. as a result it is a comparability of dolphin intelligence with primate intelligence, and naturally implicitly with human intelligence.

The sections in the chapters are written first on one species after which at the different in order that dolphin social habit, for instance, may be in comparison with primate social habit (Chapter four) or that their navigation via their differing environments can equally be in comparison as in "Swimming with Dolphins, Swinging with Apes" (Chapter 3).

I was once semi-surprised to benefit that wild bottlenose dolphins even with no arms have still been saw utilizing tools--or a t least one instrument, a sponge worn as "a nostril cap." the most hypothesis this is that the dolphins use the sponges "to guard themselves from various destructive and poisonous organisms close to the ocean ground and to prevent the abrasive sand, rocks, and damaged shells that clutter the deep waters..." (pp. 144-145).

Of path dolphins in sea indicates were taught to exploit balls and different items as "tools for entertainment"--which brings me to this attention: is dolphin intelligence constrained through the truth that dolphins don't have any arms with which to exploit instruments? The authors appear to imagine so, and at any fee the sponge use is the one instance of device use within the wild that they file. Which brings up the query of ways a lot will we relatively learn about dolphin habit and intelligence? gazing animals in zoos or as a part of a theatric exhibit is something; gazing animals within the wild is one other. Animals within the wild behave in ways in which could shock us, and our wisdom of the use and quantity of dolphin intelligence could be restricted simply because we aren't in a position to systemically stick with them within the wild.

The similar is correct for chimpanzees and different primates. within the February, 2010 factor of "National Geographic" there's an engaging article through Joshua Foer (with photographs through Ian Nichols) approximately an come upon with chimps within the Congo's Nouabale-Ndoki nationwide Park. in contrast to different locations in Africa the chimps encountered the following had it appears by no means obvious people prior to. Their behavior--full of interest and "approach/avoidance" screens together with nesting in a single day within the bushes without delay above the camp of biologists Dave Morgan and Crickette Sanz--proved so much superb. The chimps spent a part of the evening "testing" the people via throwing down urine and feces onto the tents and howling! this can be a bit diverse from different reviews that i've got read.

In "Beautiful Minds," the authors speculate on no matter if dolphins and apes have "a conception of mind"--that is, whether or not they are conscious of what others might be pondering and whether or not they have a feeling of self. a few dolphins have been "marked with black ink in a space in their our bodies now not obvious to them. they can, even if, suppose the ink. A replicate used to be provided, and the dolphins have been watched to determine in the event that they have been visually tracking their our bodies to discover the ink spot." a few have been. (pp. 180-181) this means self-awareness. In chimps it has lengthy been identified that they realize themselves in mirrors and discover that the picture within the reflect isn't really another chimp. the following it really is pronounced that an Asian elephant "was additionally in a position to cross the reflect self-recognition try, time and again touching a white X at the aspect of her head along with her trunk." (p. 180)

What is apparent to me is that the nice intelligence confirmed by way of chimps, bonobos and dolphins (and people, incidentally) is essentially the results of the necessity to comprehend and negotiate the complicated social relationships they've got with others. this can be the main to the expansion of those massive brains. yet intelligence outlined because the skill to resolve difficulties applies on to the quest for and procurement of meals. Dolphins use cooperative looking to enclose and strength to the outside colleges of fish in order that they can't simply break out. They even use bubbles to confuse and confine the fish. Apes use their minds to discover and bear in mind the place and once they stumbled on culmination in season in an enormous forest.

Ape intelligence is outwardly restricted by way of their lack of ability to shape summary suggestions, in particular by way of language that will let them cross on details to others. in relation to dolphins this isn't so transparent when you consider that we're at a loss whilst attempting to comprehend what they're "saying" or why they perform a little of the issues they do. it can be that we'll locate that dolphins do certainly have a few feel of the summary and will converse approximately issues equivalent to fish now not instantly current or activities and occasions long ago or imagined, that's the essence of human conceptual skills. The trick is to have symbols corresponding to phrases to face for whatever now not current or for acts now not in facts. Apes are constrained of their skill to represent. Are dolphins so constrained? we do not but know.

Bearzi and Stanford during this very readable e-book have performed an outstanding task of bringing to a common readership a number of the most recent principles and discoveries which are top us towards a better knowing of those specific beings, and naturally to a greater comprehend of ourselves.

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Additional info for Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins

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When we pulled her f r o m the water, she was hypothermic. She began to respond and as we turned to go back to port I noticed that the dolphins were gone. Later at the hospital, a doctor told me that she was f r o m Germany, on vacation in Los Angeles. She was eighteen and was evidently trying to swim offshore to die by suicide. When we f o u n d her, she had all her travel and identification documents tied around her neck in a plastic bag. The bag also 26 An Eternal Fascination contained a letter, which I suspect must have been some explanation for her decision to kill herself.

Communication may constitute yet another important facet of our fascination with dolphins. " The origins of this mindset probably came from an extravagant scien- 28 An Eternal Fascination cist named John Lilly and the work he did with dolphins in captivity. Lilly believed that dolphins possess a highly developed brain and sophisticated linguistic abilities. His work captivated the public interest in the 1960s and his books became best sellers. He believed that h u m a n s and dolphins could communicate with each other, and his work was focused on breaking through an interspecies language barrier.

Working at sea with dolphins had become my job as a scientist, my greatest passion, and a natural part of my everyday life. Spending hours, days, and years observing their behavior, following their movements, recording their sounds, I learned that they were not the big-brained Einsteins, wizards, or philosophers as described in so many fables, but rather they were very intriguing, highly complex and flexible social animals completely 22 An Eternal Fascination adapted to an ocean life—one that is still little understood and rich with their many secrets.

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