Educational clip from the 2003 BBC “Wildlife on One” episode Dolphins: Deep Thinkers, narrated by David Attenborough.
In this clip, dolphins are demonstrated to be able to comment on the presence or absence of stated objects, which is a very advanced task for an animal. Also the language-trained dolphin, Akeakamai, is asked a trick question. She is told to bring the Basket to the Hoop, but there is no Hoop in the tank. (David Attenborough mistakenly reverses the two objects in his narration). A flat rejection was expected, but she surprised everyone by making up her own very logical answer: She brought the Basket to the NO Paddle, as if to say… “well here is the Basket, but the destination you requested does NOT exist!” The very first time this happened years ago, it took several long moments before the beautiful logic of what she had done became apparent.
Research footage shot at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory (KBMML) (www.dolphin-institute.org) in Honolulu, Hawaii.