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tursiops truncatus

The Bottlenose Dolphin: Almost Human?

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a remarkable marine mammal known for its unusually high level of intelligence. In fact, the bottlenose dolphin is the second most encephalized being on the planet after humans, meaning that they have a very large brain-to-body ratio (Grimm, 2017). The encephalization quotient (EQ) is defined as the ratio between predicted and observed brain mass for an animal of a given size. This large brain size along with other complex portions of the brain account for the great intelligence of this species. Encephalization quotient data actually suggests that the level of intelligence in the bottlenose dolphin is closer to the human range than are our nearest primate relatives (Reiss et al., 1997). So how different is dolphin cognition and psychology from humans? Bottlenose dolphins exhibit a lot of intellectual behavior similar to humans such as…