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Thread: Cetacea I.Q.

  1. #1 Cetacea I.Q. 
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    How intelligent are whales?


    I'm just wondering what bits of hard science do we have, if any, that pertains to the mental capacity of whales. What exactly have we observed so far?

    Where on the chart would we rank the intelligence of these animals. Dogs?, Chimps?.....Humans maybe?

    I havn't really found anything substantial online. So if anyone here has any knowledge on the subject, please share it.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    The closest evolutionary relative to the whale is the hippo so it probably has a similar intelligence to that!


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  4. #3  
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    Hmm, okay.

    So how smart are hippo's?
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    The closest evolutionary relative to the whale is the hippo so it probably has a similar intelligence to that!
    Which logic would make us as smart as chimps.
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  6. #5  
    M
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    Which logic would make us as smart as chimps.
    Some of us are.
    Others are still working on it.
    :wink:
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I'm more of a bonobo myself, with occasional baboon like tendencies.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    Which logic would make us as smart as chimps.
    Some of us are.
    Others are still working on it.
    :wink:
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  9. #8  
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    I've heard that the "wrinklier" a brain is, the smarter the animal is, or the more potential it has to learn, or something like that, and I know that dolphins have more "wrinkles" than humans.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  10. #9  
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    Yeah, its basically to do with the ratio of the brain mass to the body mass of an organism which deems an organism intelligent/not intelligent. I have no idea about that of the whale but just because it would have a larger brain to say a mouse, does not mean it is intelligent; it would have to be large in proportion to the rest of its body.

    As for the wrinkles; this indicates a larger cerebrum in comparison to the rest of the brain, that's interesting if true about dolphins, the dolphins brain:body mass ratio is only slightly less than our own.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    This discussion on brain size always pops up on a 'science' forum and I always refer to the following paper.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten...e2=tf_ipsecsha

    Regulation of Cerebral Cortical Size by Control of Cell Cycle Exit in Neural Precursors

    Over expression of beta-catenin leads to growth of the mouse brain and folding!

    I can't really show the picture because it is copyrighted, but the mouse brain isn't really folded normally. In these transgenic mice it is.

    Are they smarter?

    Who knows. They probably die rather soonish.

    What is important is that size isn't everything. The structure of the brain is really important.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  12. #11  
    Ato
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    I think what really matters is the complexity of the brain required for a particular function. Cetaceans need precise echolocation for survival. And one can liken echolocation to the 3-dimensional sonogram or echogram. Echolocation would most probably require high computing power. The question is whether the brain processing power required for echolocation exceeds that for developing for instance the theory of relativity!
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ato
    The question is whether the brain processing power required for echolocation exceeds that for developing for instance the theory of relativity!
    You could counter that question by asking whether the theory of relativity is actually true?!

    Is our brain structure guiding us to a restricted set of solutions and theories that seem valid to us.

    And could it be that a brain structured around understanding a viscous 3D environment is capable of forming a different set of answers which might be more true?!
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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