The Secret Behind Dolphin Intelligence - Coloring Pages

The Secret Behind Dolphin Intelligence - Coloring Pages


Detroit - Speaking of intelligence in the animal world, bottlenose dolphins are the champion. These animals not only can use tools, but also can recognize themselves, even communicate with each other and with humans.

Why are bottlenose dolphins smarter than other animals? The answer lies in the evolution of genes that play a role in brain function and metabolism. This gene evolution is believed to have led bottlenose dolphins to be the most intelligent animals in the world.

"We are interested in what makes the brain grow from a molecular perspective," said Michael McGowen, a researcher at Wayne State University School of Medicine, in Detroit, Michigan, United States.

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McGowen studied genes in the dolphin genome to find out the similarities that had changed in the dolphin lineage. They also examined similar possibilities in primate lineages. Both are then compared.

A total of 10,000 genes from bottlenose dolphins compared with genes from cows, horses, dogs, rats, elephants, opossums, platypus, chickens, and humans. As a result, "Cows become the closest relatives of the dolphins," McGowen said.

Gene mutations are also studied to study evolving genes or "selected genes", namely genes that undergo change and are passed on to the next generation. The way to find out is to compare these genes with analog genes from other species.

The dolphin gene is said to be more active developing within a certain period if it experiences more DNA changes (mutations) than, for example, cow genes.

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Their research shows that more than 200 dolphin genes have changed dramatically. A total of 27 genes are involved in the nervous system, such as the brain and sensory organs. Large changes are also found in genes associated with metabolism, similar to the changes seen in primates.

McGowen said the drastic changes that occur linearly in genes involved in the nervous system with metabolic genes are common. Because, brain tissue always uses more energy than other networks.

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"This gene change can definitely change cognitive capacity in dolphins extraordinarily," he said.

However, the researchers did not only reveal encouraging findings about intelligent genes in dolphins. They also found that dolphins evolved more slowly than some other animal species. This condition is also seen in other mammals that have large brains.

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