Dolphin Intelligence: Are They Really as Smart as We Think They Are?
By Laurent Mikhail
If you were to step out into the street and ask the first ten people you see whether or not they believed dolphins were creatures of intelligence, 8 of 10 would probably say yes. If you ask two scientists the exact same question, you just may be opening up a debate that could last for hours.
Most scientists to-date have refused to take a firm stand on the intelligence level of the dolphin, and although many will admit that dolphins seem to be intelligent creatures, it is not a proven fact. The biggest problem researchers are running into seems to be the actual definition of intelligence.
Darwin's theory bases intelligence on the ability of a species to recognize what it needs to survive, while other schools of thought believe the the size and architecture of the brain, the ability to communicate, or the ability to exhibit playfulness are the indicators.
Another reason that the research on dolphin intelligence is limited is because it's difficult and expensive to do in the wild. Dolphins in captivity, may respond differently based on their surroundings and are therefore may not be representative of the wild dolphin. While the U.S. Navy has carried out extensive research on the dolphin and have even trained them to search and even tag mines, that information has not been released to the public.