A great philosopher by the name of Plutarch once wrote that the dolphin “is the only creature who loves man for his own sake. To the dolphin alone, nature has given what the best philosophers seek: friendship for no advantage.” The foundation to a relationship like this is based on communication. In this paper, evidence will be presented to show that it is possible for dolphins and humans to communicate in a significant and meaningful way.
Throughout recorded time, man has shown a fascination with dolphins. This is shown by many ancient stories which were told through writings and verbal accounts. Some of these stories originate from ancient Greece and were told by great philosophers. One such story claims that Odysseus’ son, Telemachos, was saved from drowning by a dolphin. Dolphins have also been accounted for in writing. In the play Twelfth Night by Shakespeare, a singer by the name of Arion was sentenced to be thrown into the sea by pirates. Before he was thrown into the sea, he asked for one last wish: to sing a song and then jump overboard himself. The pirates granted him this wish, and he began to sing a high-pitched song. When he was finished with his song, he jumped overboard and was saved by a dolphin which carried him two hundred miles to shore. Obviously, dolphins and humans have been interacting together throughout recorded history.
According to the theory of evolution, it is most likely that the dolphin was once a land mammal. It is likely that sixty million years ago a cow, the distant cousin of the dolphin, decided to take his life to the sea. This is shown by the findings of hooves on dolphin fossils.
The appearance of dolphins has intrigued man’s interest in the physical makeup of these mammals. Dolphins are carried by their mothers for twelve months before they are born. Once they are born, they immediately swim to the surface for their first breath of air. At the time of their birth, dolphins are three feet long and weigh approximately thirty pounds. By adulthood, the dolphin will have grown to nine feet in length and will weigh over four-hundred pounds. The life expectancy of the dolphin is estimated at twenty-five years, but one dolphin living in Sarasota, Florida, was reported to be forty-four years of age when he died.
The physical features of the dolphin make it an interesting mammal. Dolphins have silky smooth skin that helps them glide through the water with ease. Their ears are small openings on the sides of their head which pick up sound with great ability. Dolphins have no vocal cords; instead they make sounds while underwater by moving air from their lungs with their blow hole closed. The dolphin uses sonar to help it see underwater. Ken Norris, Dean of Researchers in Santa Cruz, California, explains that the dolphin can use its sonar to identify species, look at the internal organs of other fish, and even kill fish. (Nature video).
The internal features of the dolphin allow it to be...