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There are many differences between Dolphins and Porpoises. People might think that the two are the same mammal, but they are not. Dolphins have cone-shaped teeth and porpoises have spade-shape teeth. The easiest way to tell them apart is that the porpoise is smaller in size and is broader across the back. Dolphins are classified in the Delphinidae species and there are thirty to fifty different kinds of species in this family(Minasian 204). The Porpoises are classified under the Phoceonidae family which is Latin for pig-fish. Dolphins are the smartest mammals in the ocean. Navy ships have used dolphins to detect mines in the water and search out enemy submarines. Dolphins are very friendly mammals; there are places in Florida where one can ride the dolphin in the water many dream of such a ride.
This dream might not come true if people and different companies keep on killing them. We need to recognize the value of these dolphins and the dangers facing them, and get to stop these dangers and save this amazing creature. The three main dangers and threats to dolphins are pollutants, tuna boats and people.
Dolphins are very sacred creatures to many people. When two dolphins are in a symbol with one pointing up and the other one pointing down it symbolizes “The duel cosmic streams of involution and evolution” (McIntyre 31). The symbol is the way of showing how the dolphin evolved and where it is going. The dolphin by itself means “Allegory of Salvation inspired in the ancient legends which show it as the friend of man”(McIntyre 31). It tells the fable of a dolphin saving a man.
The ancients believed that the dolphin represented the vital power of the sea or water which symbolizes the source of life. The Greek word for dolphin is Delphys which means womb and is known as the “living womb of the sea of creation”(McIntyre 34). Many of the Gods were based on the dolphin because they believed it could partake in mythological forms. There are many stories about dolphins and gods and how they help the gods from the sea. There are also a lot of symbols that represent the dolphins in little story blocks. This is probably why dolphins are a form of good luck or sacred to us in this century(McIntyre 33).
Dolphins are among a very few mammals and animals with the intelligence similar to our own. Cetacean (which is what dolphins, whales and porpoises are classified under)brains are larger than human brains in memory and conceptual thought. There are three animal types with comparable mental equipment; these are humans, elephants and cetaceans. Humans are superior in the physical sense, but might be lacking in the intelligence phase. According to John Lilly:
You see, what I have 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?(qtd. McIntyre 57)
What Lilly is saying is basically that the dolphins have no limits, they can keep going and do anything for a long time, but we limit ourselves and while we are doing this the dolphins are gaining more intelligence.
The dolphin uses sonar like in a navy ship to detect dangers and other things in the waters. Sonar is a device using underwater sound waves for navigation, range finding, detection of submerged objects, communications and etc.(Readers Digest Dictionary 1278). Since their echolocation system gives them detailed images of objects in the ocean, they might be able to recreate sounds and project images to one another. According to Peter Warshall:
Both man and cetaceans seem to have a tremendous capacity
for digital information exchange (information understood on
the basis of its sequence in time and space, like written words
or the Morse Code) using variations in pitch and frequency.
Cetaceans may also have analog communications systems
which are so different from our own that we may not
be able to perceive them. (Analog information is information
you understand because the data itself is like what you are
talking about. For example, the word “loud” spoken loudly.)
It seems, too, that digital speech is used mainly to refer to
manipulable objects, while analog communication deals with
more subjective items
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Oceanic dolphins, Biota, Zoology, Neuroscience, Dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin, Cetacea, Animal echolocation, Porpoise, Cetacean intelligence, Toothed whale
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