Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Dolphin Dolphin for its unique
approach in studying Dolphin-Human communication
by letting Dolphins initiate the communication.

Dolphin Dolphin
A Study of Dolphin-initiated Approaches to Humans
By Wade Doak

Dolphin Dolphin (1981) - 245 pages
Dolphin Dolphin at Amazon.com

On an April Day in 1975, a tribe of dolphins interrupted their journey up the east coast of northern New Zealand to frolic in the sea with a boatload of humans. They played games, acting with an indescribable good humor and ease. When the meeting was all over and Wade Doak had talked to his family and friends about it, a teasing thought began to intrude. Was it more than just a game? Were the dolphins ready and willing to meet humans, their peers in intellect, on an equal footing? Did they want to communicate with friends of another culture in the sea?

There were further encounters with other dolphins - and sometimes the same ones - off that charmed Northland coast; tantalizing in their brevity but every now and then making Wade and Jan Doak feel they were on the brink of a revelation. The thought of establishing meaningful communication with dolphins and other cetaceans began to dominate the Doaks' life.

There were so many ideas to be tried out in the search for a two-way dialogue. Music, but what style and tempo? (Pink Floyd gained quick popularity). Mimicry with the development of a dolphin suit to make resemblances more obvious. And was it proper to intrude on their territory, or did one wait for these "nomadic villagers" to offer an invitation? What kind of boat made the best base? Wade and Jan Sold their house and bought a Polynesian catamaran which they transformed into a specially rigged research vessel.

Dolphin, Dolphin, goes on to tell how the dolphins responded to these and other experiments. Journal entries capture the excitement and wonder of encounters which gradually developed into a relationship that, a few years before, would have been beyond belief.

And so Project Interlock came into being. A study of dolphin-initiated approaches to humans opened a door to the rest of the world. Dolphins had deliberately aided mariners in distress: others had set up enduring friendships with chosen people. Responding to Operation Interlock newsletters, swimmers, divers, surfers, and yachtsmen reported meetings with friendly and strangely communicative dolphins. Britain and South Africa, Spain, the Bahamas and Australia, Hawaii and the two Americas furnished fascinating anecdotes.

The pathway to friendship with dolphins extends to physical contact and play with the great whales. The future possibilities that Wade Doak outlines are fascinating. The great brain capacity of the cetaceans can be used in ways that we earthbound creatures cannot fully comprehend. These possibilities come excitingly together when Wade Doak, attending the 1980 conference on cetacean intelligence in Washington, D.C., reviews modern research in this field and then, in the coastal waters of Hawaii, discovers new horizons for human/cetacean exploration.

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Dolphin Dolphin
A Study of Dolphin-initiated Approaches to Humans
By Wade Doak

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Dolphin Dolphin for its unique
approach in studying Dolphin-Human communication
by letting Dolphins initiate the communication.