14 Oct INTELLIGENT LIFE UNDERWATER
Two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins were recently the subject of a research study that alleges that these two companions, named by their researchers Yasha and Yana, were observed to hold a conversation between themselves that consisted of “dolphinese” sentences up to five words in length. The researchers were unable to interpret the conversation, so we don’t know if they were discussing matters of any great import. Still, the researchers were struck with how the interaction appeared to consist of the two animals taking turns listening and responding.
Dolphins have long been recognized as having extraordinary intelligence and a friendly attitude towards humans. There have been many stories of dolphins offering life-saving aid to victims of shipwrecks. Elian Gonzalez, the boy at the center of the famous custody battle between his Cuban father and his Miami relatives, claimed to have been saved from drowning by dolphins in his harrowing trip across the Florida Straits.
In the south pacific, there is a dolphin with a legendary reputation known as Pelorus Jack. He was a Risso’s dolphin, which is not a common species to find off the coast of New Zealand where he made his home.
According to Wikipedia,
“Pelorus Jack was first seen around 1888 when it appeared in front of the schooner Brindle when the ship approached French Pass, a channel located between D’Urville Island and the South Island. When the members of the crew saw the dolphin bobbing up and down in front of the ship, they wanted to kill him, but the captain’s wife talked them out of it. To their amazement, the dolphin then proceeded to guide the ship through the narrow channel. And for years thereafter, he safely guided almost every ship that came by. With rocks and strong currents, the area is dangerous to ships, but no shipwrecks occurred when Jack was present.”
He was last seen in 1912.