A Dolphin’s Smile

    Photo by Abhishek Vanamali


    Dolphins are some of the most incredibly fascinating animals the animal kingdom has to offer. They have beautiful smiles, call each other by name, and have distinct personalities. Dolphins are unlike many other animals in that they also have complex social structures, and participate in inter-species cooperation.

    Scientists are currently working on ways to translate dolphin language so that we can better understand what these amazing creatures are saying. “So long and thanks for all the fish”  perchance?  Although Dr. Justin Gregg argues in his new book,  Are Dolphins Really Smart?,  that dolphins aren’t uniquely intelligent, I think that his debunkery just gives dolphins all the more to smile about.  Why?  Because India, Costa Rica, Hungary, and Chili have recognized them as non-human persons. If other species share dolphins’ intelligence, perhaps now that recognition will spread to them as well.

    dolphins chat

    Learn more about the movement for person-hood rights for cetaceans and other animals in Germ Magazine‘s special issue of Love Animals:  Dolphins are People Too. Really. 

    R. Shannon Duval is a Ph.D in philosophy, Fulbright Scholar, second degree black belt in TaeKwonDo, and a national champion in kali arnis.  Known as "The Wonder Ninja" for her dual careers in philosophy and martial arts, Germ's Educational Director (and Consulting Editor of Germ U) has traveled to lands far and near, and has discovered that while the pen is mightier than the sword in all of them, swords are still an awful lot of fun.  She loves playing hide and seek in things that are bigger on the inside than the outside, simultaneously wielding distinctions and edged weapons, and pondering the original nature of snowmen. Have a great idea for using Germ in the classroom? Contact her at shannon@germmagazine.com


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