Altruism by Dolphins

by Gerard 6 Replies latest social current

  • Gerard

    Dolphins (archive picture)

    A group of swimmers has told how a pod of dolphins protected them from a great white shark off New Zealand's coast.

    The lifeguards were training at a beach near Whangarei on the North Island when they were menaced by a 3-metre shark, before the dolphins raced in to help.

    The swimmers were surrounded by the dolphins for 40 minutes before they were able to make it safely back to the beach.

    Marine biologists say such altruistic behaviour is not uncommon in dolphins.

    Lifeguard Rob Howes was in the water with two colleagues and his teenage daughter.

    It was an uncomfortable experience, as they were circled by a great white shark, which came within a couple of metres.

    He said around half a dozen dolphins suddenly appeared and herded the swimmers together. The mammals swam in tight circles to create a defensive barrier as the great white lurked under the surface.

    The swimmers said the dolphins were extremely agitated and repeatedly slapped the water with their tails, presumably to try to deter the predator as it cruised nearby.

    The drama happened in New Zealand three weeks ago, but only now are the lifeguards telling their story.

    It is a day they will never forget, especially for one of the swimmers, who was on her first day as a volunteer.

    They have no doubt that the dolphins acted deliberately to protect them.

    Researchers have said they are not surprised. A marine biologist insisted that dolphins, which are considered to be one of the most intelligent mammals, "like to help the helpless".

  • Elsewhere
    The drama happened in New Zealand three weeks ago, but only now are the lifeguards telling their story.

    This is the part that made me go:

  • Snowcrash

    Ah-ha! Proof that dolphins are the second smartest species on the planet!

    Humans think they're smarter than dolphins because humans have achieved wonderful things, like television, New York and others, while dolphins just play in the water all day. Dolphins think they're smarter than humans for the exact same reason.

    Someone had to say it...

  • Gerard

    Show dolphins show motivation and capacity to inovate new tricks. In the wild, there are hundreds of stories -including early Greek periods- of dolphins saving drowning sailors and befriending children who took for rides.

    I think dolphins have a different kind of intelligence but are very inteligent to our standards. It seems they have the capacity to love and even die of sadness.

  • Satanus

    It's true that ultruism among humans has caused some progress. The inventor of ac electricity, nicola tesla is a good example. However, i think that most progress is made because of several monkey traits that we have, namely inquisitiveness, desire to dominate (otherwise called getting ahead), cooperation within the tribe.


  • frankiespeakin

    Ive also read reports of dolphins being bad(from human view point) to humans and trying to drown some swimmers. Well it looks like they might have some human like traits both good and bad,,, not "perfectly" good towards humans atleast. May be the dolphins that were trying to drown some swimmers had witnesses a cruelty at the hands humans to some of their family members and were letting out their wrath.

  • frankiespeakin

    I have to wounder about the Killer Whale now they are some clever fearsome hunters,, and yet they leave man alone even when mistreated and locked up in captivity they still don't kill there captures. Perhaps they fear man and know man can make it worse for them if they don't comply. I think some animals may be as intellegent or even more intelligent than man,,especially the big brained ones.

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