Reuters
Great Animal Story...

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters) - A pod of dolphins circled protectively round a group of New Zealand swimmers to fend off an attack by a great white shark, media reported on Tuesday.

Lifesavers Rob Howes, his 15-year-old daughter Niccy, Karina Cooper and Helen Slade were swimming 300 feet off Ocean Beach near Whangarei on New Zealand's North Island when the dolphins herded them -- apparently to protect them from a shark.

I love stories like this. The contrast between stories like this and all of the stories of humans hurting humans amazing.

via die puny humans

27 Comments

Hm, may be man should do a lot more to protect dolphins from man too. I just remember the yearly dolphin-slaughter in Futo/Japan and lots of comparable activities worldwide... In so far even behind this "great animal story" is another more woeful kind of story just lurking...

w/kind regs (Roland from Ol'Germany)

Dolphins are actually mammals. Many Many decades ago they were on land and then genetically changed and moved back to the ocean. The point is that they are Second to Man in terms of IQ. I personally think that Dolphins are light years ahead of mankind in intelligence. The have actually morphed their structure to adopt to water, because thats the only mass which be available once the ice-caps melt..!! Go figure what will happen to mankind if we continue to mistreat these water species eh ?? jus some random thoughts :)- !!

Many decades ago? That sounds pretty recent... That said, that's quite a fantasy you got there...

Joi, your last comment kind seems kind of silly. I could make a similar contrast between human charity work and dolphins or geese gang raping each other. Let's not whitewash animals too much, regardless of how much we like them. They're *animals*...just like us, I guess :)

I read this earlier on My Yahoo. I'm glad you posted it, I love stories like this as well.

dshupp, I guess you right generally, but this reminds me of a section in... I think it was Communication Between Man and Dolphin by John C. Lilly where he does an experiment to show that dolphins don't have displaced aggressions like primates. Monkeys will lash out at anything near them when shocked, but Dolphins won't. I think displaced aggression is a big part of the human condition... On the other hand, I've never seen the displaced aggressionless dolphin experiment anywhere else so I'm not sure how conclusive it was.

That's really interesting, actually. Those are the subtle differences that would result in a society fundamentally different from ours. There's a really meaty scifi story in there, I think...

I'm sorry, but the story has already been written.

So long, and thanks for all the fish

Sorry to disappoint you, folks, but most probable dolphins' behaviour has nothing to do with 'saving'. They just group around interesting object much like they escort ships.

The same thing with tales about dolphins saving swimmers from drowning, pushing them to the coast. Again, dolphin plays with a body much like it does with a ball in an aquarium. And it may push it into arbitrary direction - dolphin does not care. Those pushed to the coast tell the tales about life-saving dolphins. Those pushed away from the coast apparently do not tell anything.

The contrast is even bigger between stories about dolphins saving people and stories about people killing dolphins.

"he does an experiment to show that dolphins don't have displaced aggressions like primates."

How old are you folks, infants?...;-D

This story has been told for centuries... Yup, without even a new twist.

Btw, Lilly was also into the sensory-deprivation utopia, right? And you don't suppose, ya num nutz, that it has ANYTHING to do with population density? Btw, you ever see what dolphins do to sharks? So much for the non-aggressive nature of "Flipper"...

And can some of these comments be any less intelligent? Oh!! Sorry, /pd, i forgot you were a wiz in Artificial Intelligence and all things *nix!!!

Let me slink back to the rock i crawled out from.. tale between my legs...;-D

I think the idea behind the research was that dolphins were more cerebral and less reactive/emotional. Their violence against sharks seems to me to be a pretty natural behavior versus a natural enemy. The research Lilly did with the dolphins was original work, I think. I'll have to dig up the book or a paper.

The sensory-deprivation stuff was not "utopian". He was mostly trying to understand how the mind worked. He was rather edgy, but he did a lot of interesting work and I wouldn't be so dismissive of his work if you haven't read it.

That'd be the difference between a dolphin an rich people.

Dolphins swim and people fly.

I'm aware that Lilly did original work with dolphins, so save yerself the trouble. I read some back when I lived the life of leisure, back when I was in High School in College 30 years ago.

Iow, I've read more than you have, apparently.

But heh.. you're rich and you can say whatever you want and shrug, and people will fall all over themselves to agree with you.

Speaking of original, you ever read much of what I've written, Joi Ito...? Oh yeah, I'm not famous, other than for pointing out a few of the truths and being labeled a troll by you folks who say it's a sin to label people.

How could I forget.. how dismissive rich people could be.

I've read everything you've written here Toran and I don't think it's as much the content of what you write as your tone that gets you labeled a troll. I doubt that you've read more of Lilly's work than I have, but I'm not sure what the point in arguing over this point would be.

If you want people to read and respond to what you write, I'd start by not calling people things like "ya num nutz" when you're trying to make an argument.

Frankly, I find you more dismissive than I've ever been to you, but I suppose you'd disagree with that too.

J_Toran. Have you any idea how Joi became rich? He became rich through generosity of spirit. As a bridge between the culture, economy and technology of Japan and the US - his wealth is a reward for an enormous amount of value creation in a society that makes it very very hard to be entrepreneurial. Joi, has alway focussed on the value creation side of the equation by keeping very close where value is created, in the flow of ideas, knowledge and people and by allowing money to flow in that direction. And when Joi keeps his mind open to the idea that Dolphins might be able to communicate with Humans and that we have a lot to learn from these cerebral creatures - he again demonstrates why he deservers to be a steward of wealth in the 21st century. So Mr Toran, I think that you show this very humble and great man a little more respect.

"I doubt that you've read more of Lilly's work than I have, but I'm not sure what the point in arguing over this point would be."

The point is, I read it before it became fashionable to do so. And the point of bringing it up?

You'd hafta ask yourself, because you brought that point up. My point must have been obscured, because my point was that Lilly's sensory deprivation experiments were fascinating to me also, until I tried drugs after I dropped outta college. (So that puts the time-frame of Lilly's research in late-60's, but icbw. How old were you then, Joi Ito, is another of my points. I've had some time and experience to reflect on some of these things which you haven't apparently done. Or you wouldn't herald the stories that have gone around for literally centuries as some big humongous deal.)

"If you want people to read and respond to what you write, I'd start by not calling people things like 'ya num nutz' when you're trying to make an argument."

I don't care whether people read and respond to what I write, I thought that was pretty clear. I'd prefer that, but I don't tend to get hung up on other people's hangups.

Btw, Ito-san, you and are of similar cultures, except I'm more of a Yao Ming kind-a guy.

Get it?

Also, btw, people that can't laugh at themselves as hardy as I laugh at myself are both immature and stuckups, in my experience, and discussions tend to be pretty much like the people involved. You're young and rich, and that's two strikes against you in softball league (where you only get 2...;-)..

But the difference between you and I, Ito-san is your self-respect is largely based on your having made some many tons of money that your respect is normally unassailable. My self-respect is built off of a base of having little self-respect, if you catch my drift.

So I'll "demean m'self" to probe your (lack of...;-) intelligence and experience further, if you care to. You see, I don't have any money to force you to do this-that-or-th'other..

What is your measure? How do YOU, personally, tend to measure dismissiveness? (I mean, other than by instincts... I mean by what criteria do you judge that it's me who has been dismissive in the least, aTALL, is what I'm wondering?!?)

~~

Btw, if you think I'm being dismissive of you BECAUSE you're filthy rich, that'd be impossible... Nup.

"Have you any idea how Joi became rich?"

I'd say he became very rich by having anonymous lieutenants to say nasty things on his behalf, obviously.

I heard his story, and my recollection is he cut a deal and sold out early, according to his own words. He got several hundred million less that those he got, is my recollection... That is not quite the same as being a poor, humble, frugal guy, afaik.

Cutting the comedy, yup I read the research back around '72. Also, btw, read (in _The Naked Ape_) where man brags about having the largest brain of all the mammals, but also has the largest penis.

I don't recall if I misquote that on porpoise, because that'd be "land mammals". Also know that the Blue Whale has a brain that'd make a human's brain like a person that think *nix is a good OS!

However, the PETA worship is no better than the worship of Torvalds, and if you observe mankind has largely won the battle that Captain Ahab lost, if you call that a win. Iow, this whole post and most of the comments are a delusionary dream that all we need is more intelligence and more kindness to animals, so "we" can jes treat people like piles of dung and still get the feel-goods.

~~

Btw @the fucking asswad that wrote the anonymous post, shit tends (like always) to flow downhill and money uphill. I'm not saying Joi Ito did or did not deserve his vast wealth, but his ability to "steward the wealth"...?

That'd be the advantage of being a blogger. One can steward the wealth and pretend like it's same as stallmanism, for the benefit of others (like other bloggers, I've noticed...)-;

Sorry, "Ito-san", was gonna let that point slide until your boyz threw down the gauntlet. And my job running out at the end of the month puts me in a bit of an irritable mood as well.

Thx to you and your all's "free culture" and "free" this and "free" that, btw, making a living is getting tougher and tougher unless you're a multi-bazillionaire or a Professor of Stupidity like most-a the A-listers.

And since you are obviously pleased with the work of your minions, Ito-san, I'll ask you this:

Was it intelligence or accident or just plain low-down scumbagness that the University of Blogaria is set up so the multi-bazillionaires can hang out with some of the poorest people on the planet?

Right next to each others, like sardines in fact.

And they all get along like a real friendly school of fish...

Was that on porpoise, or an accident, or planned to work out that way?


J.Toran:
"I don't care whether people read and respond to what I write, I thought that was pretty clear. I'd prefer that, but I don't tend to get hung up on other people's hangups."

Then why do you bother sir? I've seen you trolling about the blogosphere, generally acting like a sourpuss.

Let's see, Joi's your recent target, but you've annoyed the readers at Barlow's, and Weinberger's, Scoble, Bloggercon... let's see how many more hits I get off Google for your particular brand of "looky meee!"

You pose as someone who should know better. Yet you so evidently don't.

"Be nice or leave"

Cheers.

Boris. Thanks for reminding me. I thought I'd tasted JT's venom before. I'm going to stop feeding the troll now.

Joi:

Thanks for you kind words regarding the communication between humans and dolphins. As John Lilly said, "if we can solve that communication barrier(between humans and dolphins)," we can move toward the stars.

Troll person, chill!

"the fucking asswad that wrote the anonymous post"
Why on earth would you be so rude about me defending Joi. I have nothing material to gain from this post. Joi does not know who I who I am. The only thing I gain is the private knowledge that I helped to defend a good man. By the way, poverty is not a virtue. Joi's wealth is an indicator of economic value generated for others.The fact that he acheived it at a young age is two points to him, certainly not two strikes against. Just Go away!

Here is it in german:
http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,329226,00.html

Its a good german Magazine called "DER SPIEGEL" and it came weekly on every Monday.

Greats from Germany
Andre G.

Ignoring all of the pettiness that's been spewed here by way of Ohio, let me add a rather sad but on-topic link on the original story:
http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1362192004

"POACHERS in New Zealand may have killed two members of a pod of dolphins that recently saved the lives of swimmers from a great white shark attack, lifeguards said yesterday.

The mutilated carcasses of the two bottlenose dolphins were found on Wednesday in the Awaroa River, which branches off the upper reaches of Whangarei Harbour on North Island’s east coast.

Staff from New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC) believe the dolphins died about two weeks ago after drowning in fishing nets set out by criminals poaching fish. DOC officer Richard Parrish said their tails had been hacked off, probably to free them from the net. "

Regardless of the dolphins' motivation in surrounding and possibly protecting the swimmers, it's become pretty clear that sometimes, humans can be truly vile.

The thing about dolphins is, we really don't know. Experiments or not, we just really don't know what to make of them. What's the point? I guess that if someone is willing to stand up and proclaim one thing or the other about them as a finality, then perhaps they've revealed themselves to be unaware of their ignorance. My take? I *guess* they're hyper-intelligent. Feels right to me. Aside from that, they're beautiful creatures (another opinion). As for absolutes, maybe we could ask the dolphins ;-)

H i love dolphins and i thnik they rock!!!

i love dolphins too

I also love dolphins and have swam with them. I is also a very sad ending for 2 of the 4 life saving dolphins. Two of the four were killed by commerical fisherman the same week. The commerical fisherman said the dolphins were caught in their nets so they cut out there tails and drew them in the ocean to die. Dolphins are wonderful and humans are evil.

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