The topic of dolphin intelligence is a never-ending source of wonder, and, according to recent studies, the animals appear to know more and remember more than we thought.
A new study from the Dolphin Research Center in Grass Keys, Fla., appears to indicate that dolphins are smart enough to problem solve in much the same way as humans.
Working with a bottlenose dolphin named Tanner, researchers found he was able to imitate behaviors, even when one of his senses was blocked.
"We already knew dolphins imitate other dolphins, but this time we blindfolded Tanner and used humans instead of dolphins to make the movements in the water," said Dr. Kelly Jaakkola, research director. "What we found is that he imitated the human movements even when he couldn't see them.
"The news is that he made a choice," she said. "When imitating another dolphin he could recognize the sound of the behavior, but when we put a person in the water the sound is different and that's when he would echolocate."
Echolocation, or bio sonar, involves sending out sounds and then listening to the echoes that return from nearby objects.