Dolphins caught on film making art and doing science.
March 18, 2009 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Dolphins at SeaWorld Orlando make and play with bubble rings. Others learn by watching. (SLYP) via

Checkout the related videos on the right to see other examples of this behavior.
posted by Toekneesan (17 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I love the last scene, when the dolphin pops the small ring into the mouth
posted by francesca too at 4:19 PM on March 18, 2009

That's one of the coolest things I've ever seen.
posted by JHarris at 4:26 PM on March 18, 2009

Insanely cool, if unsurprising. I've always considered So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish to be nonfiction.
posted by yiftach at 4:36 PM on March 18, 2009

Saw this on Andy Sullivan. So cool how they take the larger ring, and 'clip' it to make a smaller and more perfectly circular ring.

I guess in the water, with no pockets, you have to make what toys you have.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:38 PM on March 18, 2009

posted by tellurian at 5:12 PM on March 18, 2009

What. How.
posted by DU at 5:34 PM on March 18, 2009

Definitely worth watching.
posted by Alex404 at 5:34 PM on March 18, 2009

Also: In your face, BF Skinner!
posted by DU at 5:41 PM on March 18, 2009

Damn! They had a good season last year with Chad Pennington.

Wait, wha?
posted by Nick Verstayne at 6:11 PM on March 18, 2009

I hate to be a complete treehugger, but does anyone else get a little queasy watching this? I mean, how intelligent does an animal have to be before we say it's not right to keep it in a cage? That's actually a real question, not a turn of phrase. When I see most animals in a zoo, I think that they don't know enough for me to care if they want to be there or not. But those dolphins, unless those tricks were secretly taught to them by humans, are pretty smart on my stupid to smart scale. Am I being smartist?
posted by SkinnerSan at 6:24 PM on March 18, 2009 [4 favorites]

SkinnerSan, quite a few years ago on Scientific American Frontiers, they had a show about dolphins. Alan Alda was the host of the show, and they explored how dolphins could recognize themselves in a mirror. It seems they are self-aware.

I had just the same response that you did with this.
posted by Houstonian at 6:35 PM on March 18, 2009

Intelligent? You fools, they're carrying out tokamak nuclear fusion experiments! Call the governor and evacuate Florida before its too late!
posted by digsrus at 6:51 PM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'll be impressed when the dolphins smoke a pipe and blow smoke rings. That would be awesome. Or maybe one of those cigarette holders. With a monocle.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 6:54 PM on March 18, 2009

So long, and thanks for all the fish!
posted by jtoth at 7:12 PM on March 18, 2009

Sure, I should have read the comment thread more closely but yeah, I stand by my first response.
posted by jtoth at 7:18 PM on March 18, 2009

...Dude. Just....dude.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:42 PM on March 18, 2009

If you think that's cool, you should see how they entertain themselves in the wild when they have all sorts of other critters around to harass. I've heard stories from colleagues about them passing octopus back and forth in what looked like a game of "Keep Away." Would hate to be that octopus...

SkinnerSan and Houstonian:
Don't get too queasy. I find myself a bit uneasy to see these guys behind glass sometimes too, but know that most dolphins in captivity today were born there and know no other life - and the experiences and knowledge that we humble humans gain from being able to observe them like this is immeasurable. These guys have some serious brain power going on - the self-recognition experiments, language and gesture understanding... there are so many more examples I could cite, all helping us understand exactly how intelligent they are (but then we could ask What is intelligance and who are we to measure it?).

So I hate to say its "for the greater good" but it would do no good to release them, intelligent or not. Truth is these captive animals wouldn't survive a week in the wild. All we can hope for is good facilities that recognize the need for proper care. And more cool videos.
posted by danapiper at 6:34 PM on March 20, 2009

« Older Only Coon Hounds Are Allowed To Be Buried   |   Bella Union Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments