Dolphins may be the smartest sea creatures. Each dolphin identifies itself with a unique whistle—similar to the way we use our names. Scientists have found that some dolphins can remember the whistles of others they haven’t seen in 20 years!
Also, dolphins use teamwork to solve problems. In one study, two dolphins figured out that they had to pull ropes at the same time to open a container of fish. As they worked, the pair “chatted” about the task by making clicking sounds.
Though they don’t have hands, dolphins are skilled at using tools. For example, some bottlenose dolphins near Australia wear sea sponges on their beaks. Researchers say the sponges are like face masks that protect the dolphins’ beaks as they look for food along the jagged seafloor.