Times Online reports a study has declared dolphins as world's second most intelligent creatures after humans. Previously, scientists placed dolphins below chimps, but recent studies suggest dolphins could be the brighter of the two. The report claims dolphins are "cultural" animals with a strong sense of self, distinct personalities and the ability to think about the future.
Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence.
The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die in this way each year.