Research and observations in recent years have revealed that whales and dolphins not only have the ability to learn as individuals, but those individuals can then pass their new knowledge onto others. This is a rare intelligence in the animal kingdom.

​Dolphins have been shown to recognize themselves in a mirror, using what is called "contingency testing", or making movements while examining themselves for this movement. This finding is unexpected as dolphins primarily experience the world through sound and their echolocation system would not function in a 2-dimensional (mirror) reflection.