A Comparison of Primate and Dolphin Intelligence Essay

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A Comparison of Primate and Dolphin Intelligence as a Metaphor for the Validity of Comparative Studies of Intelligence

Primates and cetacean have been considered by some to be extremely intelligent creatures, second only to humans. Their exalted status in the animal kingdom has lead to their involvement in many experiments which hope to gain a better understanding of the basis of human intelligence. These experiments coupled with analysis of primate and cetaceans brain structure has lead to many theories as to the development of intelligence as a trait. Although these theories seem to be sound, there is some controversy over the degree to which non-human studies can be used to infer about the structure of human intelligence.

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This seems to be correlated with dolphins ability to maintain a healthy emotional state while in captivity; humans in analogous situations often don't fair as well emotionally.

Despite the complex structures discovered in the brains of dolphins, primates have been the main focus of intelligence research. One of the main reason for the focus on primates is that they seem to be so similar to humans in many ways, the most important being genetically. Besides basic genetic similarities, or perhaps because them, primates have many advanced brain structures some of which are similar to human brain structures. Most primates have and EQ the around 2.34 (2) while humans have an EQ around 7. This may seem like are large difference, but when you consider that very few species have an EQ above 1, the difference is less profound. In addition to similarities in size and structure "primates devote more of their energy resources to their brains than do most other mammals", which is another important measure of intelligence(3).

Before non-human animals can be seen as intelligent a model must be created which can explain how intelligence would have developed through evolution. These theories must clearly establish how having a larger more sophisticated brain, could increase and organism's chance of survival. Once

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