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Dolphins as Social Creatures Essay

Have you ever thought of dolphins as social creatures possessing their own culture and behavioral patterns that could not be explained by employing simple laws of nature? It is a universally accepted notion that animals kill to survive or feed themselves.

They express their aggression only to defend themselves. Finally, animals live in pods to enhance their protection mechanisms. All these facts are true, but they cannot be applied to dolphins, marine mammals, which are regarded as the most intelligent animals on the planet after humans, of course.

However, the scientists have problems with defining how intelligent dolphins are due to the differences in sensory apparatus, cognition techniques, and response models. Learning more about dolphins makes it much harder to distinguish between animals and humans. Can dolphins employ similar laws as humans? Because their intellectual level and cognition mechanisms have not been researched sufficiently, there is much to think about.

Typically, the marine mammals live in groups counting up to 40 dolphins. At a glance, there is nothing special about this fact because many other species are living and hunting in pods because of similar feeding habits.

However, the difference does exist because these pods are organized in accordance with specific social patterns of behavior. Hence, if a new dolphin enters a pod, the group organizes the greeting ceremonies. If one member of a group is not welcomed among other group members, this dolphin is under is threatened to live in exile.

In fact, strong sense of personality allows dolphins to establish communication and engage in social interaction. With regard to the peculiarities of socialization and living in groups, many scientists in various fields tend to believe that dolphins living in pods can establish long lasting relations. When two groups meet, they can also be engaged in greeting rituals, which differs from the traditional animal world where groups would fight for the territory to survive.

A close study of the behavioral habits of dolphins has also revealed that the species can contact each other through petting, rubbing, or even hitting to express their sympathy with each other. The animals used to swimming close to each other, which indicates their friendship.

Resting fins on dolphin’s back is also a kind of handshake, as accepted in a human world. Therefore, it is also possible to talk about the culture of behavior in a dolphin’s setting. There is also the reverse side of the medal because dolphins can also express aggression and violence against each other. Such type of behavior is often indicated by dolphins’ approach to another dolphin from direct line. In case a dolphin is not aggressive, it can usually approach its opponent from an oblique angle.

Some might reject the fact that dolphins can engage in social interaction because of lack of communication among the group members. In fact, dolphins actively communicate with each other through their specific language – whistles. Many scholars insist that each dolphin possesses a unique set of whistles that indicates their personality so that the members of the group can recognize a dolphin among others.

Dolphins often employ a whistle system in stressful situations, or in case they need help. As soon as the signal is heard by other pod members, the species respond immediately. The advanced intelligence of dolphins, as well as their developed abilities to communicate, refers to their need to communicate. This is why dolphins are often compared to humans. What is more important is that interaction of dolphins with humans is also of great interest to the researchers.

In fact, dolphins are considered extremely curious about everything and, therefore, they can be engaged in exploring contact with humans. The degree of intelligence of dolphins explains their attachment to people, as well as their vivid interaction with them like researchers or trainers. Once gain, cooperation between dolphins and humans supports the idea of social behavior that serves as the foundation of successful communication.

There are many other animals that are capable of socializing and communicating, such as chimpanzee or elephants. Indeed, psychologists also study these animals because their behavior is close to humans. For instance, chimpanzees are able to use tools in order to achieve their purposes.

Like humans, they have social structure and hierarchy. They live in social groups where everybody subordinates to a dominant male. Elephants also apply to human-like means of communication. In particular, it is a well-known fact that these animals communicate by means of touch.

Just as one human individual’s intelligence is difficult to compare with that of another human, intelligence levels of dolphins vary as well. Intelligence constitutes only one aspect of animal survival in a wild natural world. Therefore, dolphins have evolved as smart as it was necessary for their safe existence.

Nevertheless, if the human’s intelligence is compared to non-human standards, it can turn out that dolphins are very close to humans. This is not only about the close proximity of physical similarities, but also about thinking mechanisms. Therefore, the psychoanalysis of dolphins and related species has become the central focus of the research. The ability to train, play, entertain, and understand what different actions and emotions mean has interested the scholars all over the world.

While travelling, hunting, or exploring environment, the species employ ultrasounds. They also use electromagnetic fields to communicate when they set out long journeys. Therefore, dolphins are able to plan and interact. However, their interaction differs significantly from those accepted in animal world.

Rather, their communication and behavioral response to the surrounding world are more similar to humans. Such a viewpoint characterizes dolphins from a special angle. So, in case this species is so intelligent, is it possible to talk about spirituality and morale? Humans should not forget that they are also part of the natural world and, therefore, they should express their respect and equal attitude to it.

Animals, particularly dolphins with their level of intelligence cannot be regarded as living creatures, but as non-human personalities with unique needs, problems, and characters. Their brain is not sufficiently examined to make sound conclusions so far because these marine mammals have much to be discussed and studied in future. Thinking beyond established stereotypes can prevent the scientific world from incredible discoveries.

Beyond science, there are a great number of tales and legends revealing the evidence of dolphins’ intelligence, as well as their good intentions toward humans. In some harbors, humans come regularly at the seacoast to observe many dolphins can explain humans by means of their special language that they need help.

Mysterious stories about these living creatures are fascinating because they widen people’s understanding about why dolphins are under close attention of scientists. Both science and fiction stipulate close resemblance between humans and dolphin in terms of their social behavior and intelligence level. More importantly, both humans and dolphins apply to almost similar models of communication and relations.

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1. IvyPanda. "Dolphins as Social Creatures." December 7, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dolphins-as-social-creatures/.


IvyPanda. "Dolphins as Social Creatures." December 7, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dolphins-as-social-creatures/.


IvyPanda. 2018. "Dolphins as Social Creatures." December 7, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dolphins-as-social-creatures/.


IvyPanda. (2018) 'Dolphins as Social Creatures'. 7 December.

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