Are Dolphins Really Smart?: The mammal behind the myth


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Are Dolphins Really Smart?: The mammal behind the myth Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: Oxford University Press
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Pages: 320 Language: English ISBN: 9780199681563 Categories: , , , ,

How intelligent are dolphins? Is their communication system really as complex as human language? And are they as friendly and peaceful as they are made out to be? The Western world has had an enduring love affair with dolphins since the early 1960s, with fanciful claims of their ‘healing powers’ and ‘super intelligence’. Myths and pseudoscience abound on the subject. Justin Gregg weighs up the claims made about dolphin intelligence and separates scientific fact from fiction. He puts our knowledge about dolphin behaviour and intelligence into perspective, with comparisons to scientific studies of other animals, especially the crow family and great apes. He gives fascinating accounts of the challenges of testing what an animal with flippers and no facial expressions might be animal behaviour, Gregg challenges many of the widespread beliefs about dolphins, while also inspiring the reader with the remarkable abilities common to many of the less glamorized animals around us – such as chickens.

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Although Justin Gregg challenges some preconceptions in Are Dolphin's Really Smart?, it's a testament to his skill as writer that none of cetaceans' lustra wears off. The book is a masterpiece of popular science writing and a contender for my book of the year. * Fortean Times, Greg Greener * Gregg has produced an authoritive account, disentangling myths from hard evidence. * Daily Mail, Julia Richardson *

Author Biography

Justin Gregg is a research associate with the Dolphin Communication Project, and Co-Editor of the academic journal Aquatic Mammals. He received his doctorate from Trinity College Dublin in 2008, having studied social cognition and the echolocation behavior of wild Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. With an undergraduate background in linguistics, Justin is particularly interested in the study of dolphin communication as it pertains to comparisons of human (natural) language and animal communication systems.