Humans aren’t the only intelligent being on Earth. Animals, too, can be surprisingly, and impressively intelligent. Frans de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University, in his book, “Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?”, has given hundreds of examples of surprising intelligence from non-human species. It also includes many instances where other animals appear to be smarter than us!
According to Discovery News, dolphins are considered to be the second most intelligent animals on Earth, after humans. The story of Kelly, the dolphin, will surely make you believe this fact and drool over her smartness and brilliance!!
The world first came to know about Kelly back in 2003, when she was mentioned in an article, written by Anuschka de Rohan, in ‘The Guardian’. The article was about the dolphins, which were being studied at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi. All the dolphins at the institute were trained to keep their pools clean. They were to collect any piece of trash that falls into the water and give it to the trainer. For every piece of garbage they brought to the trainer, they received a fish as a reward.
The Clever Tactic!
Though the dolphins mastered this act very quickly, Kelly took it, altogether, to a new level! Whenever people threw paper into the water, she would swim up to the paper and instead of handing over the piece immediately, she would hide it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. Kelly figured out that she received the same fish regardless of the size of the paper. Hence, the next time a trainer would pass by; she would go down to the rock and tear off a piece of paper to give it to the trainer. After a fish reward, she would again go down, tear off another piece of paper and get another fish. Cleverly enough, she had figured out the way to get more fish from a single piece of paper that fell off into the pool.
A New Idea!
The trainers were amazed by Kelly’s behavior as she showed a sense of future planning and delayed gratification. But, she did not stop here. One day, when a gull flew into the pool, she caught it and handed it to the trainers when they came by. Since it was a large bird, she was rewarded with lots of fish. This incident helped Kelly devise a new idea. The next time she was fed, instead of eating all the fish, she took the last one and hid it under the rock. In the absence of the trainers, she would bring the fish to the surface of the water and lure the gulls, which she would catch to get even more fish! After mastering this rewarding tactic, she even taught this to her calf and to the other dolphins, revolutionizing a strategy that allowed the Dolphins to get more food.
Now, that is what you call a smart dolphin!
Unfortunately, Kelly breathed her last in 2009 at 38 years of age. According to one trainer, Kelly had beautiful natural markings and an engaging personality. She always trusted the trainers to be gentle with her babies. Though Kelly is no more, her actions and smartness have proven the fact that dolphins, do indeed, deserve their reputation for being highly intelligent.
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