My Double X debut: dolphin smackdown!

My very first blog post at the new Slate spinoff Double X is up. As Double X’s resident marine biologist, I figured that I needed to get the dolphin issue out of the way post haste.

It never fails. Every single cocktail party, as soon as someone finds out that I’m a graduate student studying marine biology, they ask, “So, do you get to play with dolphins?” Since my heart is as black and cold as the oceanic abyss, I usually take this opportunity to disillusion yet another poor soul of their childhood fantasy of Mystical Dolphin Love.

Dolphins are not gentle or psychic. If they could talk they would not impart eco-wisdom or deep spiritual truth. Dolphins are violent predators with a predilection for baby killing and rape. I feel it’s my duty to warn you, despite the risk of insulting creatures made of hundreds of pounds of muscle and rows of sharp teeth. Throw out your rainbow dolphin painting, and check out dolphins’ low-down dirty secrets:

Head over to the shiny pretty Double X site for the rest.

Don’t believe my tales of dolphin deeds done dirt cheap? The original peer-reviewed research is listed below. Or check out the lads of Southern Fried Scientist on dolphin worship and the evils of dolphin-safe tuna.

Oh, and you know that whole thing about Double X syndicating the Oyster’s Garter? Well, somehow I got it totally wrong. Most weeks, I’ll be posting at the Double X outpost on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The rest of the time I’ll be comfortably ensconced right here.

The research behind the Scientific Dolphin Smackdown:

Connor, R., Richards, A., Smolker, R., & Mann, J. (1996). Patterns of Female Attractiveness in Indian Ocean Bottlenose Dolphins Behaviour, 133 (1), 37-69 DOI: 10.1163/156853996X00026

LYAMIN, O., MANGER, P., RIDGWAY, S., MUKHAMETOV, L., & SIEGEL, J. (2008). Cetacean sleep: An unusual form of mammalian sleep Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 32 (8), 1451-1484 DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2008.05.023

Patterson, Reid, & Wilson (1998). Evidence for Infanticide in Bottlenose Dolphins: An Explanation for Violent Interactions with Harbour Porpoises? Proc Biol Sci., 265 (1402)


10 Responses to My Double X debut: dolphin smackdown!

  1. jebyrnes says:



  2. whysharksmatter says:

    God I hate dolphins. Thanks for mentioning us!

  3. Water Sippora says:

    Yeah, and dolphins act like they own the ocean as well! One time I was surfing, and a dolphin totally took off on me. I tried to show it who was boss, and called it out for a “conversation” on the beach, and it just sat there looking at me with a goofy grin on its face. What a punk! Probably one of those “Bird Rock Bandit Bastards!”

  4. DDeden says:

    Dolphins are the wolves of the sea, Orcas are the lions.
    Sharks are the tigers and fishing cats.
    My version: dolphin & dove no rainbows though.

  5. Rosarose says:

    It has always horrified me that people thought it would be “cosmic” to give birth near Dolphins. An acquaintance used to run one of those swim with the dolphins scams. Something bad happened, that she would never discuss, and that was the end of that.
    I’ve always thought the same goofs could go worship the cows, and communicate with their big puppy eyes a lot cheaper! Yay Miriam!

  6. For an opposing point of view, see my web site, Our patronizing attitude toward dolphins has more to do with how we perceive them than their inherent aptitudes or proclivities.

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