The Dolphin in the Mirror: Exploring Dolphin Minds and Saving Dolphin Lives

A memoir by the world’s 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 world’s 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 Reiss’s 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.

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published on September 20, 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-10: 0547445725
ISBN-13: 9780547445724
2 Book Reviews
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  • sandyc
    sandycMonday, May 30, 2016 at 9:14 pm55 starsFeatured
    I researched about the background of this book, and expectedly, the author herself is a dolphin rescuer. Furthermore, she understands the dolphin very much. In this book, she talks about the activism of saving dolphins and also shows the readers how smart the dolphins are and how they are even smarter than us. She also talks about why we should stop mistreating them. The most amazing thing is that they can even communicate with humans! The author describes them as the smartest creature except human on earth. Due to I wrote an essay about the mistreatment of dolphins, I began researching about books of dolphins. This was the second book that I found, but it was more interesting than the first book. I think that the author is completely correct. I like how this book uses a funny way to discuss the issue. It makes people feel joyful but also makes people take action on saving the animals. Go on and read this book! Enjoy the conversion between you and the dolphin ~ 🐬
    • mao
      maoSunday, January 6, 2013 at 11:09 am44 stars
      i love animals! but, i love dolphins more than any other animal! they are my favorite one! i hope this book will be really exiting!