Are Dolphins Creative?

We’ve observed dolphins engage in a variety of behaviors from exchanging contacts to chasing one another to vocalizing to creating bubble bursts. They produce behaviors singly or in combination, by themselves or with peers. We’ve documented unique actions and typical interactions. But, what we’d not, until recently, examined was whether dolphins could be creative. And if so, maybe we could figure out just how creative they could be. In January 2018 and 2019, we (Drs’ Hill, Yeater, and Dudzinski) spent time at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) at Anthony’s Key Resort, with Head Dolphin Trainer, Teri Bolton, to investigate whether dolphins could be creative. Check out this video that explains how we collected the data to assess creativity in dolphins. And, stay tuned to the DCP blog and newsletter (Dolphin Gazette) later this year when we hope to have some of the results explained!

Watch this video to learn more about our data collection protocol and how we study dolphin creativity at RIMS.