wild dolphin seeks out human help

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by rhubarbodendron, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    If they can vocalize beyond human range, that's not a big deal, because we have sensors for that. It's not as if humans would be actively listening to and trying to interpret the sounds. Sensors fed into a computer would capture the sounds, including subsonic and ultrasonic ones. The hard part would be determining what they mean.
     
  2. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was thinking about the encoding, and not the range. There is more than one way to embed a meaningful thing in a sound. Some of the known ways to do so are impossible to interpret or detect without a common reference, but thankfully those are always artificial and not something you'd see evolving naturally. It could still be something pretty elusive, though.
     
  3. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    It would probably associate fishing boats with humans but could also have had friendly encounters with humans before.

    Yes, yes, they should be left alone and studied intensively and non-intrusively... Well, maybe except for that speaking with them-thing*, no, possibly.

    *Why not just teach them English by shouting at them until they understand? :p

    *Including primates and dolphins.

    Dolphins in the wild have indeed been known to come to the aid of humans¹ but afaik not coming to humans for help. Until recently that is: Dolphins are being exposed to humans like never before; they have become tourist attractions! People swim with them and take Dolphin tours; feeding of wild Dolphins in order to attract them is not legal though: it makes them associate boats with food. Many Dolphins are injured by boats because of this. :(


    __________
    ¹ - Afaik it's probably because they recognize an (un-threatening) air-breather in distress (they do have that magic ultra-sound vision) and know they need to get to the surface to breathe.
    It doesn't necessarily follow that they seek out humans, only that they have highly developed social skills.



    Oh, And this thread needs the video, no matter how tacky :p

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojydNb3Lrrs[/yt]​
     
  4. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh there's no doubt in my mind that the dolphin was aware that he needed help and deliberately sought it out among humans. Not only did he approach a nearby diver and present himself with the hook plainly visible, he made adjustments during the assistance to help maintain position... AND... after leaving to surface and get some air, he returned BACK to the SAME HUMAN, patiently allowing the process to continue until freed. Once the dolphin felt the hook was gone, he happily swam away!

    This clearly shows sentience. A typical wild animal would be caught up in the discomfort and not know what to do, perhaps even going berserk in the process. This dolphin was also thoughtful... he could have easily swam to another nearby human after having surfaced for air, because there were several divers nearby. But it returned to the same diver.

    Unfortunately the article was sparse on information. I wonder if the dolphin made any kind of "thank you" gesture to the human who helped him.
     
  5. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's a major sweeping generalization. SOME animals kill their own kind all the time. There are plenty who do not.

    Human Beings are the ONLY creatures who have committed genocide and wage war. Now, one could say that it has to do with sentience... that lower forms of life can't think of the organization required to do such acts. But gorillas have been known to team up to defend themselves against predators. If they wanted to wipe out an entire tribe of other gorillas, they would conduct their own kind of warfare. They do not.

    Elephants will attack other creatures and even out of malice. There have been ones kept in captivity that aren't happy with their predicament and over time, building up enough anger about their situation until they eventually "pop" and go on a rampage, killing any human in sight (even those who had nothing to do with their captivity). But that's because the elephant was under duress. Elephants do have territories, but they don't seek to expand them with the waging of war against other elephants to achieve that kind of objective.


    Humans conducting genocide aren't following primitive instincts. They are following a rationalization passed down to them from those in control of their group. And those who go on mass murder sprees are often mentally deranged. Nothing instinctual about it--they're simply deranged or have a warped sense of morality.
     
  6. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Male lions for instance commit genocide as well when they take over a pride, just on a smaller basis. Every animal has fought in wars as well, but when they do, we call it territorial dispute or courtship behavior or whatever. Animals regularly kill each other over territory, food and sex.

    Human behavior is just an extension, made possible by skill and numbers. It's no different in principle.

    If they could, they would.


    Seriously, we are no different, we are just animals. The fact that we have computers and fly to the Moon doesn't change that. We are simply just a little bit more sophisticated behause we have opposable thumbs and shit.
     
  7. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All through your post all I could think of was that your effort would simply result in the creation of an army of dolphins that can only say.....DARWIN PLAY!
     
  8. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Asteroid is about fifth on the calamity list. The four above it are man-made. I choose dolphins.
     
  9. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Humans kill for the same reasons. Resources, territories, mates. Many animals will attack another of their own kind on sight, even with nothing immediately at stake, simply because it represents competition. Humans tend to rationalize these instincts, which complicates things, but it's pretty much the same idea.

    Sure, that's very likely, but the experiment would only be dealing with the local community (using a mixed population at an aquarium or something would probably be unsuccessful). If the system turned out to be useful, the experiment could be duplicated in other parts of the world.

    That's another advantage of using an artificial language-- it would bypass that problem.

    It's a very difficult problem indeed, but we'd gain some amazing information and insights if we were to solve it.

    Yes, that's very true.

    There may be some who do not, but the vast majority will. Competition is fundamental. All species compete with each other and with other species in some way.

    No, that's far from true. Many species exhibit those exact same behaviors, including primates. I'm not sure if gorillas do-- they're actually pretty gentle creatures-- but certainly chimps and other primates have.

    Well, at least we'd have the answer to our question. :rommie:
     
  10. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Genocide is "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group". Animals do not commit genocide. PERIOD. A lion might kill another male to take over its pride, but it won't partner up with other lions to deliberately wipe out another group.

    Skirmishes between animals are very localized and focused on "survival of the moment." There is no long term deliberation possible, which is what is required when enacting genocide.
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When a lion takes over a pride, he kills all the children of his predecessor, on purpose. That maximizes his own reproductive success.

    Another example that came to my mind is that race of Japanese Hornets that systematically massacre beehives. They attack and kill every. single. one. of them. And then they steal the larvae.
     
  12. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Animals are motivated to kill their competitors. Any species that didn't become extinct as a direct result of a natural catastrophe was out-competed. That's genocide. The only difference is that when Humans act on that impulse, they can put their intellectual capacity and technology behind it. Again, it's acting on instinct rather than rationalism.
     
  13. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not disputing that, but "competitors" are those creatures in their immediate vicinity, as JarodRussell pointed out when a lion takes over a pride it will kill the cubs of their defeated father. It doesn't then start seeking out all lion cubs to kill, nor conspire with other lions to wipe out other creatures because of some physical or cultural distinctiveness.

    Yes, you could say genocide a form of "fear threat" response, to perceive a certain kind of people as a competitor or infringement on resources and wipe them out because of it, but this is a very deliberate and calculating kind of thing, something animals do not do. We have never observed elephants or dolphins doing it either, the more intelligent of the animal kingdom.
     
  14. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They're all cetaceans, which comprise an order, not a family. Dolphins and porpoises are basically just small whales.
     
  15. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I'm not sure if cetaceans have ever been observed doing that, but other primates have. As I said in an earlier post, intelligence complicates the situation. An animal will only feel threatened by current and immediate circumstances-- a Human can feel threatened in the abstract.
     
  16. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I see where the problem lies:

    While both our languages divide the Order up into the two suborders Balean Whales (Mysticeti) and Toothed Whales (Odontoceti), we Germans follow that logic and call the whole order "Whales", while you instead use an anglicized version of the scientific name (Cetacea) : Cetaceans.
    We both mean the same and only use different ways to express it. (We Germans try to avoid the use of scientific names as much as possible. It's mainly a matter of spelling and keeping words short, I suspect).

    It's these tiny differences between our languages that drive people into despair (or into flame wars).
     
  17. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True, I couldn't even think of a German word that describes whales and dolphins in one group other than whales or whale-like.... hm.... ocean cows? ;)
     
  18. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Since when did Germans care about keeping words short? :p
     
  19. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually we do.

    However, our grammar works a bit different than yours, because when we combine certain words we use them as one word where you keep a space between them.

    Evolutionstheorie = Evolution Theory

    not much longer than yours just stronger linked together.
     
  20. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    True, but the appearance is much more intimidating to the uninitiated. ;) What scares me are some words that nearly span the whole width of a page. When do you breathe? ;)