Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Dolphin and Whale Intelligence Movies
Endorsed by Sioux Falls Zoologists

Sioux Falls Zoologists recommends the following documentaries that describe the intelligence of the mammal sea creatures, the intelligence and behavior of dolphins and whales. The whales have many fascinating characteristics. Many hunt for food in planned and cooperative ways. They communicate over very long distances using low frequency sound (infrasound). Some even "sing" (Humpbacks) but exactly what the "songs" mean or why they sing them is not fully understood. The songs change over time are copied by other humpback whales very faraway. Whale cellphone? Whale texting? One thing is for sure if it didn't provide some survival advantage it would not have evolved, but what would that be? We're not sure.

But most interesting to Sioux Falls Zoologists are the dolphins, especially bottlenose dolphins. They communicate using frequencies above what humans can hear (ultrasound), 20,000 hertz up to 50,000 hertz. They have names, a "signature whistle", that is unique for the males, but for females is half made up from their mother's "signature whistle". This may mean they have a matriarchal society, one lead by females, but for sure their lineage is traceable through the female's line, not the males. The have very large brains, larger even than humans, but much of that brain power is probably taken up to process information from their echolocation system. Bottlenose dolphins can locate a tennis ball size object at 100 yards in murky water. They can't see it except by using echolocation at frequencies up to 150,000 hertz. They also use objects as tools, but they don't make tools. They are very difficult to study. We can't hear their language, we have to use electronics to "see" it. And in the wild we can't see what they "see", again we have to use electronics to "hear" their echolocation signals and the returning sound. It's like we are the ones that are blind.

The movies are all available from Amazon.com but you are free to obtain them from many other sources. Amazon offers them on their website along with many alternate sources, often less expensive. Many are probably also available on NetFlix.com and elsewhere for on-line viewing. You are free to choose whatever source you please. The movie links on the following pages point to the movie location at Amazon.

The dolphin and whale intelligence and behavior documentaries are described on the following 14 pages:

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Dolphin and Whale Intelligence Movies
Endorsed by Sioux Falls Zoologists