Dolphins are more similar to us than we think

Dolphins truly are whimsical creatures. I’ve always respected ocean life tremendously, and dolphins are no exception; I’ve read a lot about their intelligence and the incredible tactics they use to communicate with one another, and as it turns out, apparently they aren’t so different from us humans in terms of personality, explains an article from The Good News Network.

“If you’ve ever looked into the face of a dolphin and felt for a second that they knew who you were, it’s because they’re naturally curious and sociable in a similar way to us humans.

“In a study of personality psychology, bottlenose dolphins were found to have characteristics similar to both primates and humans (as well as a few others that appear to be all their own), shedding new light on the evolutionary pressures that develop personality.

“When not referring to large African mammals, the ‘Big 5’ refers to broad personality traits that tend to be shared by most intelligent animals, and are defined as openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion, and agreeableness.

“The Big 5 has been studied in chimpanzees, rats, and now dolphins—and all creatures on Earth bear some variation of these traits—with some having more demonstrative versions than others,” says the article.

The article details how in the study, researchers examined 134 different dolphins in eight alternate locations across the globe. 49 dolphins has their personalities analyzed through means of a 42-item questionnaire, and the remaining 85 dolphins’ personality was observed using a different version of the questionnaire that contained seven more items. The questionnaires used considered four personality traits; high openness, referring to creativity or curiosity; low agreeableness; high extraversion, which refers to social abilities; and directedness.

“Dolphins diverged from other mammals 95 million years ago, which allows evolutionary psychologists to place the application of big 5 personalities at least that far back. They now also know the evolution of these characteristics can occur despite broad differences in environment, like living on land or in water, and in social organization,” the article explains.

If these aren’t some pretty cool findings, I’m not sure what they are.

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