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Originally posted by hadriana
All animals are really, really smart. If they weren't, they wouldn't be here.
They are just smart in animal ways and not human ways. They might be more interested in survival of the species than the individual at times. They might care more about taking a dust bath than working 9-5.
My dog understands a lot of language. I talk to him all the time. I'll ask him if he wants to go out the front door or the back door. He'll roll his eyes to show me.
I get up out of bed to let him out. Who's the dumb one?
Kathleen Dudzinski, director of the Dolphin Communication Project, has listened to dolphins for more than 17 years, using high-tech gear to record and analyze every nuance of their language. But she says she's far from speaking "dolphin" yet. Part of the reason is the elusiveness of the animals. Dolphins are fast swimmers who can stay underwater for up to ten minutes between breaths. "It's like studying an iceberg because they spend most of their lives underwater," Dudzinski says.
Deciphering "dolphin speak" is also tricky because their language is so dependent on what they're doing, whether they're playing, fighting, or going after tasty fish. It's no different for humans. Think about when you raise a hand to say hello. Under other circumstances, the same gesture can mean good-bye, stop, or that something costs five bucks. It's the same for dolphins. During fights, for example, dolphins clap their jaws to say "back off!" But they jaw clap while playing, too, as if to show who's king of the underwater playground.
"I have not found one particular dolphin behavior that means the same thing every time you see it," says Dudzinski. "If you like mysteries and detective work, then this is the job for you." And who knows—maybe someday you'll get a phone call from a dolphin.