ADAPTATION Echolocation - Accuracy

Experimentation shows the dolphin echolocation system is ten times more accurate than any man-made sonar equipment.

Other testing done by Dr. Louis Herman at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammals Laboratory in Honolulu with bottlenosed dolphins have displayed the accuracy of their personal sonar system. An object is conceiled in a box and placed in the pool. The dolphin uses echolocation to determine the shape of the object and then matches it to one of two different choices displayed by the assistant researchers. The researchers wear dark goggles to prevent eye contact with the dolphin, stopping the dolphin from picking up clues.

Their ability is so sophisticated, they are able to distinguish between abstract and complicated objects which they have never seen before.

Dr. Herman believes that, using echolocation, dolphins form an image of an object in their brain the same way the human brain processes vision.(Williams, 1994)

Robin Williams with Bottlenose Dolphin at Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory.