Experiments have been conducted to see if bottle-nose dolphins
are self-aware. In scientific terms, self-awareness is observing
an animal's reaction to its mirror image. If the animal is
able to realize that the image is of itself, then it is said
to be self-aware.
Most researchers agree that bottle-nose dolphins exhibit
a level of intelligence greater than that of a dog and even
comparabole to that of some primates--but NOT humans.
Research on bottle-nose dolphin intelligence is still continuing.
Interaction with Humans
Bottle-nose dolphins adapt well to human companionship and
as stated before are easily trained to perform complex tricks
and tasks. We like to think that dolphins enjoy being around
us as much as we do them. Is it possible that dolphins share
our company simply for diversity? Some species can become
bored with their own kind. Who gets more out of the relationship:
the human or the dolphin? Dolphins provide us with insight
into the realms of anatomy, behavior and communication. Still,
our curiosity pushes us to learn more. Although we admire
other animals, dolphins remain high on our list of species
that fasicinate us.
When most people think of dolphins, they think of Flipper
from television and film. Words like playful, intelligent,
loving and friendly pop into our heads. They are seen as the
aquatic verison of man's best friend. Althought there are
many instances of dolphins being friendly, we need to remember
that dolphins are wild animals. While humans seek them out,
they usually avoid human contact.