How Smart Are Dolphins Compared to Humans? Unlocking the Enigma

Sharing is Caring

Last updated on October 7th, 2023 at 11:42 am

How Smart Are Dolphins Compared to Humans

Dolphins are charismatic marine mammal, always captured our attention by their playful nature and social interactions. Apart from their charming characteristics, they show significant level of intelligence. They are considered as one of the smartest animals of the earth. In this article, we will dive deep about dolphins’ intelligence, how smart are dolphins compared to humans and many more.

How Smart Are Dolphins Compared to Humans?

How smart are dolphins compared to humans is difficult to measure. There is no universally accepted parameter that defines who is smarter.

Dolphins have large brain, complex social structure and ability to learn and solve problem. But are they comparable to human in terms of intelligence? We will discuss it in three steps:

Step-1: The Cognitive Marvel of Dolphins

Before comparing dolphins and humans’ intelligence we have to know what skills do dolphins have.

Problem-Solving Skills: Dolphins have extraordinary problem-solving skill. They can overcome complex environment, understand intricate situation and have ability to work in group.

Communication Proficiency: Dolphins communicate with each other by a complicated system of clicks, whistle and body language. This allow them to exchange emotions and information.

Self-Awareness: They can recognize themselves by mirror, an achievement called self-awareness. This is such awareness that separated them from surroundings.

How Smart Are Dolphins?

Step-2: Comparing Dolphin and Human Intelligence

Brain Complexity: Dolphin’s brain is large according to their body size and it is larger than humans. Their brain-to-body ratio is second only to humans in terms of smartness and higher than chimpanzees.

While dolphins possess remarkable cognitive abilities, current tests for intelligence do not shows the same cognitive abilities as humans.

Social Behavior: It is difficult to say who has better social behavior. Both dolphins and humans are social creature.

If we compare dolphins with human, then we can see there are some dark side on human behavior. We are cruel and destructive. We do war and violence as there is a long story of such mischief. Moreover, we are selfish and greedy.

In contrast, dolphins are nonviolent creatures. They never commit war but they are caring to their young.

Cultural Learning: Both species shows strong cultural learning. Dolphins are capable of learning and delivering to young. It has been observed that there are different techniques they use to catch fish. They also teach how to use tools to their junior.

On the other hand, humans are more capable of passing cultural leaning to new generation. They pass technologies, skill and knowledge by teaching, apprenticeships or other methods.

Step-3: The Uniqueness of Human Intelligence

Language Complexity: Human has complex language system that enable them to share ideas and thought easily which more sophisticated than dolphins.

By using vocabulary, grammar and analytical ability we can share concepts each other.

Technological Advancements: Humans have developed a wide range technology from small tool to complex machine that allow us to combat challenges. Technologies help us to know and learn the universe better.  This distinguishes human from dolphins.

See Also: How Long Can Dolphins Hold Their Breath While Sleeping

Dolphin Brain Vs Human     

Both dolphin brain and human brain extremely complex and sophisticated having their own uniqueness and weakness.

Dolphin’s brain size is larger than human, weighing around 1,600 grams compare to human 1,300 gram in weight. Dolphin’s brain is 4-5 times larger to their body size, whereas it is 7 times larger for humans.

Dolphins are blessed with olfactory bulb in their brain which help to get smell. Moreover, it drives them to search food and get location. On the contrary, human has larger frontal lobe which help them to do planning, decision making and other cognitive functions.

Dolphin Brain Vs Human Brain Percentage

There is no definite answer which one is bigger brain dolphin or human in terms of percentage. Rather than percentage, we can differentiate them according to size of brain.

Dolphin’s brain size is slightly larger than human. The average brain size of dolphin is 1,600 grams, whereas human’s average brain size is 1,300 grams.

We can measure brain of dolphin and human in terms of number of neurons. Dolphins have about 1.7 billion neurons, while human have 86 billion neurons.

However, we can say according to brain size dolphin is superior. on the other hand, if we measure number of neuron humans are ahead of dolphins.

It is important to keep in mind that, size of brain doesn’t defined intelligence but complexity and how they wired.

See Also: Aquatic Dwellings: Do Dolphins Live in Saltwater or Freshwater

Are Dolphins Smarter Than Dogs? 

how smart are dolphins compared to humans

While dolphins are smarter than dogs or not is a difficult to answer. This question has been debated by scientists and animal lovers. However, both dolphins and dogs are highly intelligent in their own world.

Nevertheless, some studies suggest that, dolphins are slightly superior than dogs in terms of cognitive abilities. One study suggest dolphins are better in solving puzzles than dogs.

One thing to be noted that only intelligence is not the single trait. Dogs are highly intelligent and well trained to do wide range of tasks. They can guide blind, detect drugs and explosives, provide emotional support to their owners.

So, the question whether dolphins or dogs are smarter is matter of individual opinion. There is no scientific agreement on this issue. It is true that both are amazing and have many things to learn from them.

Are Dolphins Smarter Than Chimps?

Yes! Dolphins are smarter than chimpanzees in terms of cognitive abilities. However, both dolphins and chimpanzees are highly intelligent creature though one live marine other in forest.

Dolphins are extremely intelligent on Earth and they are called second smartest animal after humans. They show outstanding cognitive abilities including problem-solving, excellent communication and self-awareness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Dolphins Communicate With Humans?

Dolphins can comprehend human gestures and commands when trained and have excellent communication skills. They communicate utilizing a combination of vocalizations, body language, and echolocation while not speaking human language, demonstrating their intellect and flexibility.

What Are Some Examples of Dolphins Displaying Intelligence?

Dolphins have shown intelligence in a variety of ways, including as using tools, being able to see oneself in a mirror (a indication of self-awareness), working with others to complete difficult tasks, and having empathy for other species. They have also demonstrated their capacity to learn by imparting knowledge to and learning from one another.

How Do Dcientists Measure Dolphin Intelligence?

Dolphin intelligence is evaluated by scientists using a variety of techniques, such as social behavior observations, problem-solving tests, and communication skills analysis. Some factors used to determine their intelligence include cognitive testing, memory assessments, and the capacity to pick up new behaviors. These studies demonstrate dolphins’ superior intelligence within the animal kingdom and offer insightful information about their exceptional cognitive talents.


It is clear that dolphins have impressive intelligence, unique adaptability and evolution in aquatic world. On the other hand, humans have complicated language, advanced technology and complex societies. How smart are dolphins compared to humans shows us the diversity of intellectual quality within different species.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top