Category: Nature

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The Intelligence of Cetaceans


“You see, what I found after twelve years of work with dolphins is that the limits are not in them, the limits are in us. So I had to go away and find out, who am I? What’s this all about?” Dr John Lily

What is intelligence? How do you measure it? For us, we tend to only accept intelligence displayed on the same evolutionary wavelength as our own – think little blue men with lasers and spaceships. We think of intelligence as the harnessing of technology, and the ability to think abstractly about striving to achieve growth and progress. Perhaps it is this that has made it easy for humans to reject the concept of intelligence in other species. But what if a species didn’t need technology to thrive; rather, what if that “technology” was in-built within that species?

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Against the Current: Diving Komodo

“Manta, Manta!” somebody shouts, and the whole boat rocks as BCDs are thrust on and weight belts collide. Those who are already ready are already in. The water is clear, but the current is strong. I rush my BCD on, go through the buddy safety checks, and try to hold myself as I realise that this is a first for me – diving with manta rays. Looking from the boat, large black silhouettes break the blue and drift below like kites. I bite the feeling, I bite the excitement and I jump. Into the blue, into Komodo, into the wild world.