Scientists say dolphins should be treated as ‘non-human persons’
Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.
Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence.
The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die in this way each year.
“Many dolphin brains are larger than our own and second in mass only to the human brain when corrected for body size,” said Lori Marino, a zoologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who has used magnetic resonance imaging scans to map the brains of dolphin species and compare them with those of primates.
The Dumbo Octopus is strange compared to others of its kind as it prefers to swallow its prey whole. When down on the sea bed Dumbo Octopus will feast mainly on worms and crustaceans, and when away from the sea bed they will eat pelagic cope-pods.
Two male seahorses, either pregnant or ready to mate.
‘When the male is full with the precious cargo, he wanders off, his bright mating costume already fading. He sways and wiggles his body, settling the eggs into position where they will remain for the next few weeks, growing in a protected internal pond.’ Photograph: Clive Bromhall/Getty Images/Photolibrary RM
US Navy oceanographer John Bleidorn photographed the millions of jellyfish in the appropriately named Jellyfish Lake in Palau. The Golden Jellyfish have evolved seperately from their ocean dwelling cousins and have lost most of their sting. Picture: JOHN BLEIDORN / BARCROFT MEDIA. via telegraph uk