posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 11:53 AM
Did trainers teach them that or do they do that on their own in the wild? Or, is it something they created in captivity?
If someone taught them to do that, then it proves they are intelligent enough to use the results of their breathing in an abstract way to gain food
from the trainers (just as a dog learns a trick to get a biscuit). It shows a sort of abstract conceptualization that is amazing in and of itself,
even if it wasn't their idea in the first place.
If they do that in the wild, it shows a propensity for culture among dolphins. The bubble rings, whether the dolphins see it as fun, ritual or
bonding, it shows a form of underwater culture.
If they do it in captivity, it shows - perhaps - a coping mechanism with the captivity; bonding with their fellow captives. OR, it could be showing a
learned behavior from observing aspects of human culture that they've been exposed to (such as the rings that they are typically made to leap
through). In this way, they could be, using the only resource at their disposal (air bubbles), replicating the human-made tricks they've been made to