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Dolphins and Cuttlefish rivalling Humans?

Everyone knows that humans are the superior race on our earth, but does that mean every other species are obsolete? For decades, scientist have questioned whether or not dolphins have a form of language that allows them to communicate with one another. Yet, many researchers are now believing that these intelligent cetaceans are capable of having ‘conversations’. With this being said, gaining evidence of this impressive capability has been somewhat difficult due to the dolphins travelling long distances, in addition to producing sounds inaudible to the human ear. Which is the reason why researchers are having trouble recording and distinguishing the sounds made by these cetaceans. 

However, researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve have managed to record a dolphin ‘conversation’. The dolphins having these ‘conversations’ are known as Yana and Yasha, who live in the reserve. This has allowed researchers to eavesdrop on the cetaceans while they communicate with each other. Whilst conducting their research, they believe that a series of pulses, clicks and whistles represents a unique language which can be distinguished as a conversation.

Dr Ryabov states “Our experiments showed that the dolphins took turns in producing pulse packs and did not interrupt each other, which gives reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other’s (call) before producing its own,” Ryabov, who is the lead author of the paper discussing this ‘conversation’, observed how the two dolphins managed to stay stationary within one meter of each other whilst producing five different vocalisations.

Dr Ryabov continues with “essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people. The analysis of the dolphin spoken language in this study has revealed that it either directly or indirectly possesses all the known design features of the human spoken language.” Ryabov identifies that these individual noises connect with one another which resembles a specific language which is close to how we, as a human race, connect sentences together.

Now onto underwater habitant and it turns out that cuttlefish are cleverer than we expected. They can be pretty shrewd as they prefer choosing quality over quantity. A recent study has discovered not only can cuttlefish count, but they are able to count better than a one-year-old human child. This was discovered from a series of experiments, where researchers from the National Tsing Hua University were able to show that these invertebrates showed a consistent preference for larger quantities of shrimp, resulting in the ability of ‘number sense’. You may ask, how does this rival the ability of a human? (May it be an infant) Well the answer is that, a one-month-old cuttlefish is able to tell the difference between groups containing four shrimps and five shrimps, whereas a human in its infant years can only tell the difference between one and two items… one and two compared to four and five? I think we know where the winner is there…

However, it doesn’t stop there, it has been discovered that cuttlefish take longer to decide which group of shrimp to go for. This makes researchers suspect instead of using a quick visual to judge which box contained the most shrimp, what’s more impressive is that these invertebrates were actually physically counting the number of shrimp in each group before making their mind up.

With any scientific finding, comes controversy. Yet, researchers claim that both these findings are accurate and that Humans must take the first steps in establishing the intelligence of the animals that surround us. Controversy on not, these ‘abilities’ are rather impressive and it really makes me sad that dolphins are continuously getting slaughters and animals such as cuttlefish are just overlooked by the majority of the human race, I’ve even asked a couple of my peers and they don’t even know what a cuttlefish is! Nonetheless, with more discoveries that these researchers are making, we may find out that one day, us humans, are not the most intelligent race that lay upon this earth.   

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