Study Finds That Dolphins Enjoy Watching Television

Julia | 02 - 18 - 2021

Dolphins are not only smarter than human beings but also enjoy watching television. Some of the researchers at Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder in Key Largo, Florida played  programs under the water for 16 bottlenose and rough-toothed dolphins. The main motto of the telecasting program to the dolphins is to provide mental stimulation to rescued animals. Even the deaf dolphins were also interested in those shows. 

The researchers of Florida noted that “Rough‐toothed dolphins displayed significantly more behaviors, particularly interest and bubble behaviors, than bottlenose dolphins, with no differences observed between the species for the percentage of time spent watching.” 

The team played the scenes from Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth television show featuring the cetaceans and other nature shows. The researchers monitored the dolphins as they showed signs of interest like tapping their heads towards the glass and they also discovered that some of the dolphins didn’t really mind what was on the screen and some male dolphins showed more interest in watching the show. 

What Is the IQ of a Bottlenose Dolphin?
  • A. 3.14
  • B. 4.14
  • C. 5.14
  • D. 6.14

“Among bottlenose dolphins, males watched the television longer, and responded behaviorally significantly more, displaying a higher rate of bubble and aggressive behaviors than females. Male rough‐toothed dolphins displayed significantly more aggressive behaviors than females, with no other sex differences noted.”

The researchers conclude the study by defining that the aggressive behavior of the male dolphins is due to their inability to physically interact with the television. They also insisted that by the way they react to the television it is possible to read their mind and what they think. In the future, television can be used as an enrichment tool for dolphins. 

Read Next