Panama City Beach is home to one of the highest concentrations of wild bottlenose dolphins in the world. They are one of the most observed and studied species of dolphin and most of the research is oriented toward finding out how intelligent they are. Though scientists don’t believe they will ever dominate humans, they do find it curious that the adult dolphin brain is larger than the average adult human brain. They continue to do research in hopes of discovering exactly what this means.
We know dolphins have their own language and scientists have been listening to it for many decades in hopes of cracking the code. Not only do they whistle and click, but bottlenose dolphin also emit loud broadband bursts of sound to discipline their young and chase away sharks. Marine biologists agree that these social creatures wouldn’t be wasting time with nonsensical noises. Though we may not understand what they’re saying, it’s obvious from their cooperative hunting, caring for their sick, and assisting birthing mothers that bottlenose dolphins can “talk” with one another.
Everyone knows bottlenose dolphins are highly trainable as evidenced by the tricks they perform while in captivity, their use by the navy in underwater surveillance and the cooperative way they hunt and protect their young. Both captive and wild dolphins have been observed playing with objects like hoops, bubbles they blow themselves or masses of seaweed. One trainer actually taught two dolphins in captivity to “innovate” or show her new tricks. She then took it one step further, asking them to “innovate together”. Video footage from underwater cameras, shows the dolphins clicking and whistling, before breaking the surface and performing an aerial display in tandem. When asked to repeat the maneuver several more times, the two bottlenose dolphin showed their trainer new tricks they performed simultaneously.
Another interesting fact proving their intelligence is how bottlenose dolphin work within the confines of their environment. Humans have hands and tend to manipulate their environment to meet their needs, like planting food crops and building homes to protect themselves from the weather. Without the need or ability to change their environment, bottlenose dolphins must focus their intelligence on those things that contribute to their survival, like hunting for food, using sponges as tools, and living in large groups for protection.
Though evidence of their intelligence is overwhelming, we won’t need to worry they’re going to take over the world. Most people are just happy to check out these extraordinary and energetic marine mammals while on vacation in Panama City Beach.
At Aquatic Adventures we have plenty of ways for you to enjoy these magnificent creatures. From pontoon and sailboat rentals to jet ski dolphin tours, we’re your one-stop watersport company that can get you out to Shell Island and experiencing bottlenose dolphin in their natural habitat. Stop by our store, give us a call or use our convenient online calendar to book your dolphin adventure today!