Synopses & Reviews
A memoir by the worlds leading dolphin and whale expert, revealing the extraordinary richness of these animals intelligence and exposing our terrible mistreatment of the smartest creatures in the sea.
For centuries, humans and dolphins have enjoyed a special relationship, evident not just in mythology and folklore but in many documented encounters. Some past cultures even worshipped dolphins and condemned anyone who killed or wounded of them. Yet in recent decades, a paradox: on the one hand, we have discovered extraordinary depths of dolphin intelligence and their emotional lives, to the point of glimpsing their self-consciousness—on the other hand, in Japan, dolphins are slaughtered indiscriminately, and several nations keep them in cruel conditions.
Diana Reiss is one of the worlds leading experts on dolphin intelligence who has helped lead the revolution in dolphin understanding for three decades. In addition, as an activist, she is a leading rescuer who helped inspire and served as an adviser for The Cove, and who continues to campaign against the annual Japanese slaughters. Here, she combines her science and activism to show us just how smart dolphins really are, and why we must stop mistreating them. Readers will be astonished at dolphins sonar capabilities; at their sophisticated, lifelong playfulness; at their emotional intelligence; and at their ability to bond with other species, including humans and even dogs! Her beloved companion dolphins, each with distinct personalities, create their own toys, type commands on a keyboard, tease and scold her playfully, and express their affection and delight. In Reisss most famous experiments, she used a mirror to prove that dolphins are self-aware, and even self-conscious. The Dolphin in the Mirror is both a scientific revelation and a emotional eye-opener, revealing one of the greatest intelligences on Earth.
The director of dolphin research at Baltimore's National Aquarium retraces the path by which science has come to understand dolphin intelligence.A committed activist on behalf of dolphin welfare, Reiss provides an account of her personal journey and the history of the development of proofs of the creaturesand#8217; high intelligence. The author chronicles the evolution of the field, beginning with John Lilly's groundbreaking work on their language and concluding with a description of her own experimental work that demonstrates that dolphins are creatures endowed with self-awareness. Reiss also discusses her struggle to get these important findings published in scientific literature. In her doctoral thesis, she proposed a series of rigorous experiments that laid the basis for documenting dolphinsand#8217; ability to communicate with symbols, recognize their mirror image and even reflect upon their experiences. While involved in her scientific studies, she was also struggling to secure funding and protect the animals she was working with from being sold for commercial exploitation. Reiss movingly conveys her deepening relationship with the dolphins, and she documents how, through each step of the process, and with each new generation, there is a tremendous emotional pull built upon the establishment of communication and empathy between our different species. This has historical antecedentsand#8212;reflected in classical mythology, as well as in the actual experiences of people rescued at sea by dolphins. Among the authorand#8217;s purposes in writing this engrossing scientific memoir is to build support to stop the annual massacres of dolphins in Japan and elsewhere.
8-page insert. Author tour to San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, D.C.
The Dolphin in the Mirror is a memoir by the world's leading dolphin and whale expert, revealing both the extraordinary richness of their intelligence, and the often fatal consequences of their interactions with humans. It is both a journey inside the minds of these amazing creatures and a plea that we treat them with the respect they are due.
Diana Reiss is not just an advocate for dolphins, she is one of the worlds leading experts on dolphin intelligence. In The Dolphin in the Mirror, Reiss combines science and activism to show just how smart dolphins really are and why we must stop mistreating them. Dolphins are creative and self-aware, with distinct personalities and the ability to communicate with humans. They craft their own toys, use underwater keyboards, and develop complex social structures. And yet some nations slaughter them indiscriminately while others keep them captive in cruel conditions. Reiss, who served as a consultant to the Academy Award-winning film The Cove, has devoted her life to studying whales and dolphins since the 1970s and fills the book with personal stories from her life's work. The Dolphin in the Mirror is both a scientific revelation and an emotional eye-opener, revealing one of the greatest intelligences on the planet.
andquot;One comes away from Reissandrsquo;s book agreeing that andlsquo;dolphins are among the smartest creatures on the planetandrsquo; and that they merit not just our attention but our care and protection.andquot;andmdash;New York Times For centuries, humans and dolphins have enjoyed a special relationship, evident not just in mythology and folklore but in many documented encounters. Diana Reiss is one of the worldandrsquo;s leading experts on dolphin intelligence, and her decades of research and interactions with dolphins have made her a strong advocate for their global protection. In The Dolphin in the Mirror, Reiss combines her science and activism to show just how smart dolphins really are and why we must protect them. Dolphins are creative and self-aware, with distinct personalities and the ability to communicate with humans. They craft their own toys, use underwater keyboards, and live in complex societies in the seas. And yet some nations continue to slaughter them indiscriminately. This story of Reissandrsquo;s encounters and research with dolphins is both a scientific revelation and an emotional eye-opener, revealing one of the greatest intelligences on the planet and exposing our terrible mistreatment of the smartest creatures in the sea. andquot;Reiss has managed no small featandmdash;synthesizing personal experience, descriptive material, and scientific fact . . . No one reading this book could possibly remain untouched by the beauty and intelligence of these powerful mammals of the sea.andquot;andmdash;Irene Pepperberg, author of Alex and Me andquot;Reiss fills the book with such intriguing tales and with the science behind themandhellip; Reiss is passionate about her science, but she is passionate about her subjects as well.andquot;andmdash;The Tampa Bay Times
About the Author
Dr. Diana Reiss is Professor in the Psychology Department at Hunter College and in the Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Program of The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She directs the Dolphin Research Program at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. She is also adjunct faculty in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, and she served as a member of the Animal Welfare Committee of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Her research focuses on dolphin cognition and communication, comparative animal cognition, and the evolution of intelligence. She has authored papers published in numerous international scientific journals and book chapters and her work has been featured in many television science programs. She has authored papers published in numerous international scientific journals and book chapters and her work has been featured in many television science programs.
Table of Contents
Minds in the Waterand#8195;23
In Search of the Dolphin Rosetta Stoneand#8195;78
The Face in the Mirrorand#8195;133
Through the Looking Glassand#8195;148
Reflections on Dolphin Minds and#8195;190
Into the Cove and#8195;213
Ending the Long Loneliness and#8195;236
Consortium of Marine Scientists and Zoo and Aquarium Professionals Call for an End to the Inhumane Dolphin Drives in Japanand#8195;258