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Cetacea

Dolphins non-human person?

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Scientists say dolphins should be treated as 'non-human persons'

Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.

Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees.These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence.

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I think dolphins and other cetaceans are definitely cognitive advanced but most categories used to qualify them as such are very biased towards what we see as human intelligence and there is not enough recognitionof other species that are not as appealing to us. Interesting article though.

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Psh.. cat's should be treated as such to. We were gods... *haughty little cat shrug*

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Psh.. cat's should be treated as such to. We were gods... *haughty little cat shrug*

Surely being treated as a person would be a step down from the worship you deserve ;)

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Surely being treated as a person would be a step down from the worship you deserve ;)

It's a step down and sadly also a step up. Remember, we did suffer greatly during medieval times. Something about being thought of as demon animals.. *snorts* But that seems to be the case with so many others. From gods to demons to pampered house pets..

*snickers*

I never doubted dolphin intelligence. Though I also think it's unfair to judge them using human intelligence as a base line. While so many animals show vast depths of clever thinking, problem solving, et al.. it's also clear they think on many different levels then we do. That and we've lost a good amount of basic survival thinking skills other animals clearly have.

Example. Buffalo will make every attempt to keep their calves guarded in the center of the heard when a predator is near. Humans? So many will just let their kid run all over ahead of them in woods known to have animals big enough to find a small child a tasty treat. Then act surprised when said little morsel.. er.. child is indeed a cougar's next meal. Who in their right mind would let their soft and squishy child run off up ahead in known cougar country?! ... and on a completely different rant *laughs*

But yeah... It has been clear that yes, Dolphins, Felines, Corvids, and a host of other animals have immense intelligence. On par with humans in many many ways. They just think on whole different levels then we do.

Granted I did read somewhere once that it seems that goats and sheep have "dumbed down" quite a bit when they were domesticated..

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It's a step down and sadly also a step up. Remember, we did suffer greatly during medieval times. Something about being thought of as demon animals.. *snorts* But that seems to be the case with so many others. From gods to demons to pampered house pets..

*snickers*

Lol, I must admit the cat that owns us does not have fridge priviledges, so she lacks that basic human right but if she did we would starve and then who would give her cuddles?

Granted I did read somewhere once that it seems that goats and sheep have "dumbed down" quite a bit when they were domesticated..

I always thought goats were pretty smart compared to sheep.

The thing is though, they really don't need to be super smart, they are perfectly adapted to the niche we created for them.

Ever so often the discussion of who is smarter, wolves or dogs will come up. And imo, the answer is very simple. Neither. They excel at things wolves cannot do simply because they have been selectively bred by us, say for example following a pointed finger to find something. This seems like a simple task to us and some people would think it means the wolves are dumb. They're not. FAct is 'pointing' using body posture has been observed with wild wolves, however in an experimental setting with humans, wolves may simply not look at humans because they see it as a sign of aggression whereas in other tasks wolves will win any day because dogs have lost some of their basic abilities and will look for humans to help them.

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Naaa.. we know you guys fill the fidge every week ;D No chance of y'all starving!

And this is also very true. Humans have done a great deal in the evolution of many animals. Wolves think on a different level then dogs with different things because of how we bred dogs. Ah agree!

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that the new evidence about dolphin intelligence makes it morally repugnant to mistreat them.

Oh sure, because if they were dumb, it would be moral to mistreat them.

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I think it would be great if we can get that done. I think the Sea World types and Japan are going to do their best to stand in the way. I think there are also a lot of animals that need to be included, like elephants.

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For those of you who haven't seen the documentary "The Cove", I highly suggest you do so.

The Cove

It really says a lot about human/dolphin interaction.

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Oh sure, because if they were dumb, it would be moral to mistreat them.

No of course not, however, there is some research that suggests that animals that are cognitively highly advanced are more likely to experience 'suffering'. Some animals can be kept in captivity easily because even a captive environment can fullfil their need for sensory stimulation, however, the more 'intelligent' and animal is, the higher are generally it's demands on it's environment and the harder it is to keep them mentally stimulated which means they are more likely to suffer from poor welfare than animals that are 'dumb'.

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I think dolphins and other cetaceans are definitely cognitive advanced but most categories used to qualify them as such are very biased towards what we see as human intelligence and there is not enough recognitionof other species that are not as appealing to us. Interesting article though.

I totally agree. Speculating about intelligent species on other planets is fun but when you look at how we treat bottle nosed dolphins it's obvious that we are not capable of dealing with intelligences that aren't identical to that of our own species.

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Really, the joke's on us, because if the 2012 people are right, the dolphins will be gone in 2 years anyway... :lol:

Edited by Pinx

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Really, the joke's on us, because if the 2012 people are right, the dolphins will be gone in 2 years anyway... :lol:

"So long and thanks for all the fish." :lol:

Lapiche

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I've always considered dolphins one of the few animals I simply do not trust.

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For those of you who haven't seen the documentary "The Cove", I highly suggest you do so.

The Cove

It really says a lot about human/dolphin interaction.

*shakes your hand* a;; the more reason i joined the fight to save these amazing beings. i think japan should pay for what they do. but alas the government wont even here it. I agree Please go see the cove and find out what you can do to help the dolphins.

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It does not suprize me that dolphins are that smart.

What disturbs me is that fact that a animal had to be declared "intelligent" in orer to qualify for moral treatment. Surely all animals should be treated with moral respect regardless of their intelligence.

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i agree but its also one of few mammals to practice homosexuality and shows artistic ability as well as compassion for their families and humans so much so that its often used as a hunting strategy. tie a baby by its tail to a boat and cut it so it cries ten dolphins from everywhere in reach come to save it. only to be closed in and shot or stabbed.

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i agree but its also one of few mammals to practice homosexuality and shows artistic ability as well as compassion for their families and humans so much so that its often used as a hunting strategy. tie a baby by its tail to a boat and cut it so it cries ten dolphins from everywhere in reach come to save it. only to be closed in and shot or stabbed.

Lol, I thought you meant a human baby for a minute. I was shocked that someone would hang a human baby upside down from a boat and cut it, and I was confused about why dolphins would care, but then I noticed... babies don't have tails!

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It does not suprize me that dolphins are that smart.

What disturbs me is that fact that a animal had to be declared "intelligent" in orer to qualify for moral treatment. Surely all animals should be treated with moral respect regardless of their intelligence.

The reason for this is probably:

there is some research that suggests that animals that are cognitively highly advanced are more likely to experience 'suffering'. Some animals can be kept in captivity easily because even a captive environment can fullfil their need for sensory stimulation, however, the more 'intelligent' and animal is, the higher are generally it's demands on it's environment and the harder it is to keep them mentally stimulated which means they are more likely to suffer from poor welfare than animals that are 'dumb'.

Obviously all animals should be treated respectfully but some animals may be more likely to suffer more under certain conditions which is why certain species of animals-like dolphins- do particularly poorly in zoos.

i agree but its also one of few mammals to practice homosexuality and shows artistic ability as well as compassion for their families and humans so much so that its often used as a hunting strategy. tie a baby by its tail to a boat and cut it so it cries ten dolphins from everywhere in reach come to save it. only to be closed in and shot or stabbed.

Where did you read that? It's just that I find it a bit strange, not because of the human cruelty involved sadly, that I can see happening but because bottlenose dolphins (which general term dolphin is most often used to refer to) live in a fission-fusion society, the longest and strongest association are actually between adult male pairs (which are often formed to sexually coerce females in the first place. Pods of dolphins often change members basically and there are few stable relationships. With a mother calf pair I could see the mother responding to her calf of course or maybe even mother, calf and older sibling. A large number of presumably unrelated bottlenose dolphins responding seems a little unlikely although they may turn up out of sheer curiosity, but on the basis of bottlenose dolphin society it seems a little unlikely that they were in fact trying to 'save' it.

In a highly social species as orcas, the largest dolphin species, this is an entirely different matter. They do tend to stick around when pod members strand and (at least the residents) live in tight matrilineal groups where calves never leave their mother so social bonds are a lot more stronger and families will be less likely to leave another member in distress.

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The reason for this is probably:

Obviously all animals should be treated respectfully but some animals may be more likely to suffer more under certain conditions which is why certain species of animals-like dolphins- do particularly poorly in zoos.

Where did you read that? It's just that I find it a bit strange, not because of the human cruelty involved sadly, that I can see happening but because bottlenose dolphins (which general term dolphin is most often used to refer to) live in a fission-fusion society, the longest and strongest association are actually between adult male pairs (which are often formed to sexually coerce females in the first place. Pods of dolphins often change members basically and there are few stable relationships. With a mother calf pair I could see the mother responding to her calf of course or maybe even mother, calf and older sibling. A large number of presumably unrelated bottlenose dolphins responding seems a little unlikely although they may turn up out of sheer curiosity, but on the basis of bottlenose dolphin society it seems a little unlikely that they were in fact trying to 'save' it.

In a highly social species as orcas, the largest dolphin species, this is an entirely different matter. They do tend to stick around when pod members strand and (at least the residents) live in tight matrilineal groups where calves never leave their mother so social bonds are a lot more stronger and families will be less likely to leave another member in distress.

Well my sources are in a way life its self. A. seen the cove B. worked for green peace for 2 years (in which i have seen this up close, i have been covered in blood and even slashed by a blade in norway for defending them. and yes i can name more examples of murder if you like.) C. go on to you tube type in homosexual dolphin (seriously it is there lol). and D. yes dolphins have a strong bond between a mother and a child but in a pod every family member is important to that pod's survival not to mention if a child where screaming for help would you not go help it even if its not yours? Thats the compassion thing i mentioned. wolves have been known to somewhat do this though wolves mostly kill the thing harming family after as we call revenge. But thats another story.

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yes i can name more examples of murder if you like.)

No need thanks, I've seen enough of that sort of thing

C. go on to you tube type in homosexual dolphin (seriously it is there lol).

Again, no need, done quite a lot of work with dolphins and seen it live in action no need for youtube lol.

and D. yes dolphins have a strong bond between a mother and a child but in a pod every family member is important to that pod's survival not to mention if a child where screaming for help would you not go help it even if its not yours? Thats the compassion thing i mentioned. wolves have been known to somewhat do this though wolves mostly kill the thing harming family after as we call revenge. But thats another story.

This is what I mean though, which species are you talking about? Because bottlenose dolphins very, very seldomly have stable pods, therefore there is no pod survival anyway because as such there is no stable pod. There are temporary pods that form and dissolve again, it's a fission-fusion society with male-male pair bonds and mother-calf bonds being the strongest and most enduring bonds, other than that 'pod' is subject to change frequently, often several times a day. The most stable configuration you are likely to see is mother+calf+calf's sibling from the previous year or as mentioned before a male pair, sometimes a triad. There are often temporary larger pods but usually these break up quite quickly and the individuals go on their own way in twos or threes maybe. Therefore 'pod survival' is a term I would not associate with bottlenoses. Orcas, yes maybe in residents, bottlenoses, no.

As for compassion, I think that is arguable, I've seen some pretty non-compassionate acts, especially from bottlenoses. Males can be downright vicious and have been known to commit infanticide-which is another reason I doubt that this hunting technique would be successful with this species.

Edited by Cetacea

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No need thanks, I've seen enough of that sort of thing

Again, no need, done quite a lot of work with dolphins and seen it live in action no need for youtube lol.

This is what I mean though, which species are you talking about? Because bottlenose dolphins very, very seldomly have stable pods, therefore there is no pod survival anyway because as such there is no stable pod. There are temporary pods that form and dissolve again, it's a fission-fusion society with male-male pair bonds and mother-calf bonds being the strongest and most enduring bonds, other than that 'pod' is subject to change frequently, often several times a day. The most stable configuration you are likely to see is mother+calf+calf's sibling from the previous year or as mentioned before a male pair, sometimes a triad. There are often temporary larger pods but usually these break up quite quickly and the individuals go on their own way in twos or threes maybe. Therefore 'pod survival' is a term I would not associate with bottlenoses. Orcas, yes maybe in residents, bottlenoses, no.

As for compassion, I think that is arguable, I've seen some pretty non-compassionate acts, especially from bottlenoses. Males can be downright vicious and have been known to commit infanticide-which is another reason I doubt that this hunting technique would be successful with this species.

oh no bottle nose are more of a warm climate dolphin. lol these were what we call short nosed or Delphinus delphis as our leader on RW said i dont know the common name just short nosed they are really cute though

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I have nothing against dolphins, but I think that having them attend a confrence meeting takes it a little to far. As I said, I have nothing against dolphins; I actually think that they should be listed as smarter than some of the human race, no offence to some. And the quote "that the new evidence about dolphin intelligence makes it morally repugnant to mistreat them", does that means it's okay to mistreat any other animal in the world just because they are less intelligent? We don't treat the mentally challanged much less than non-challenged people; excluding certain needs.

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oh no bottle nose are more of a warm climate dolphin.

Warmer than what? They're pretty much everywhere, like my supervisor used to say, they're the rats of the sea, you'll find them anywhere.

These were what we call short nosed or Delphinus delphis as our leader on RW said i dont know the common name just short nosed they are really cute though

That would be the short beaked common dolphin. Which is not less confusing because as far as I am aware they, very much like the bottlenose dolphins in there social organisation; they are thought to live in fission-fusion societies. They occur in large aggregations occasionally but again, these are temporary associations:

Groups are generally not stable through time as individuals join or leave the group regularly, with individuals joining certain groups preferentially. This organization is referred to as a “fission–fusion” society

....

Common dolphins might sometimes segregate by sex and age

...

Analysis of 11 microsatellite loci revealed that average relatedness of the mass-stranded pod was not different from average relatedness among all single strandings suggesting that individuals within the group had no closer kin relationships than animals taken from presumably different groups. These results do not support a matriarchal system and suggest that common dolphins constituting a pod are not necessarily genetically related.

...

To conclude, common dolphin social organization does not appear to be matrilineal or based on kinship. They morelikely show a fluid social structure with some segregation by sex and age as was suggested by the earlier studies

-Viricel et al., 2008

So again, I find it problematic to talk about 'pod survival' when talking about a fission-fusion society where there is essentially no long-term pod. I would think that would make altruism a lot less likely as well as the investment would outweigh the benefit for most 'pod members'.

I wouldn't say any dolphin is cute as such, they're beautiful, yes but I feel calling them cute enforces the bad 'Flipper-image' as a I like to call it which portrays them as fluffy, happy disney characters that just loooove people rather than the magnificent apex predator they are.

Edited by Cetacea

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does that means it's okay to mistreat any other animal in the world just because they are less intelligent? We don't treat the mentally challanged much less than non-challenged people; excluding certain needs.

Something that has been brough up several times now, in my opinion no it doesn't, it makes them a lot less suitable for captivity:

No of course not, however, there is some research that suggests that animals that are cognitively highly advanced are more likely to experience 'suffering'. Some animals can be kept in captivity easily because even a captive environment can fullfil their need for sensory stimulation, however, the more 'intelligent' and animal is, the higher are generally it's demands on it's environment and the harder it is to keep them mentally stimulated which means they are more likely to suffer from poor welfare than animals that are 'dumb'.

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