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Dolphins are as dumb as worms, claims new study



Dolphins may be more stupid than goldfish, chickens and even mealworms, new research suggests.

Scientists say the idea that the animals have equal or superior intelligence to humans and apes is unfounded, and that many of the ‘skills’ attributed to them – such as the ability to use a tools and communicate with a complex ‘language’ – are either shared with other animals or are simply urban myths.

In a new paper, neuroethologist Paul Manger of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa says behavioral studies involving dolphins are flawed and therefore not very informative.

‘We put them on a pedestal for no reason and projected a lot of our desires and wishes on them,’ said Manger. ‘The idea of the exceptionally intelligent dolphin is a myth.’

Whereas goldfish placed in a bowl try to jump out to freedom, dolphins rarely try to escape when they are caught in nets.

While zoologists have observed that dolphins can distinguish between the concepts ‘many’ and ‘few’, he suggests the same ability has also been demonstrated in yellow mealworms.

Manger said evidence that dolphins have learned sophisticated ‘tool use’ is ‘flimsy’, based as it is on the fact that some bottlenose dolphins on Australia’s west coast have learned to hold sponges in their snouts to help them find food on the ocean floor.

‘Exactly what the dolphins do with the sponges remains unknown,’ he said.

While researchers have been able to teach bottle-nosed dolphins to recognise an ‘alphabet’ of as many as 40 symbols, Manger pointed out that African grey parrots and California sea lions have also managed the same feat.

And while much has been made of the dolphin’s ability to identify itself with a ‘signature whistle’, experts now say that this is not a complex language, and say it is no more unusual than the tail-wagging dances of bees or ‘signature’ accoustic signals made by other marine animals.

A new book by Justin Gregg, a zoologist with the US-based Dolphin Communication Project, is also seeking to bring to light this research that could strip the animal of its title of brainbox of the seas.

‘It’s probably not the case that dolphins have their own language, which is as complex as human language,’ said Gregg, an expert in animal communication.


Roots Red Sea is the Travelers’ Choice



There is a remote spot on the coast of the Egyptian Eastern Desert that has been steadily developing an enviable reputation amongst the worlds diving community. It’s absolutely no surprise then that Roots Red Sea has just received TripAdvisors top award, Travelers Choice, the 10th year running it has been recognised with awards from TripAdvisor!

With a passing glance, many divers have dismissed a visit to this gem, its rustic appearance and remote location seemingly enough to deter further consideration. However, those that take a closer look have been rewarded with simply a totally unique experience with awesome diving, an unbelievable welcome and life long memories.

Winning an award once could be luck, every year for 10 years, there has to be a reason. Why not go to find out what it is?

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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Nays Baghai



Gemma and Ian chat to Nays Baghai. Inspired by The Blue Planet as a child, Nays’ work as an underwater cinematographer and photographer has been showcased by numerous premier brands, including Rolex and Sony Alpha.  Nays was featured amongst the Top 30 finalists of the Australasian Top Emerging Photographers competition in the Portfolio and Animal categories. He is a PADI-certified Freediving Instructor and Master Scuba Diver, and can dive to 40m both with and without tanks.

Have a listen here:

Find out more:

Find more podcast episodes and information at the new  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email

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