marine mammals, closely related to whales and porpoises
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises.
- For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979), Chapter 23.
- Don't any of you be surprised in future if land beasts change places with dolphins and go to live in their salty pastures, and get to like the sounding waves of the sea more than the land, while the dolphins prefer the mountains.
- Archilochus, Fragments.
- Dolphins are not automatic air-breathers like we are. Every breath is a conscious effort. If life becomes too unbearable, the dolphins just take a breath and they sink to the bottom. They don't take the next breath.
- I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins
Like dolphins can swim
- Which is odd because it is an essential part of us that we do repress. Of course, in a physical sense it’s hidden away, we don’t have access to it. Dolphins read each other’s emotions by sonar and it’s the inside of the body, the configuration of the viscera, that lets dolphins know whether the dolphin they are meeting is tense or happy. Their emotions are much more connected with the insides of each other’s bodies. We don’t have that. It’s like denying 90% of what we are physically, not knowing it.
- David Cronenberg 
- In the course of some experiments I conducted from 1954 through 1956 I was suspended in water for several hours at a time, and I noticed that my skin gradually became more and more sensitive to tactile stimuli and an intense sense of pleasure resulted. However, if the stimulation was carried too far it became intensely irritating, I reasoned that the dolphin is suspended in water all of his life, twenty four hours a day, and possibly had developed an intensely sensitive skin.
- John C. Lilly, Man and Dolphin (1961), p.172; as quoted in The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century (2012), by D. Graham Burnett, p.580
- If a human being is isolated from other humans for a month or more, and is confined to a small area geographically and a small range of activities, his interest in his surroundings and its minutiae increase radically....Further, if a confined, isolated human is allowed brief contacts with other humans even without a shared language, he begins to find their presence comforting, and a pleasant relief from the "evenness" of his surroundings. If these humans controls his only sources of food as well as his sources of intraspecies stimulation, he mat adapt to their demands in subtle and not so subtle ways. He may, given time, learn their language, take on their beliefs, etc. When we catch a dolphin and put him alone in a small tank, we are imposing similar "solitary confinement" structures on him. Maybe we can thus capture his loyalty and his initiative.
- John C. Lilly, Man and Dolphin (1961), p.190-191; as quoted in The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century (2012), by D. Graham Burnett, p.578-579
- Once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song.
- Where, like Arion on the dolphin’s back,
I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves
So long as I could see.
- Write by WASTE. The government will open it if you use the other. The dolphins will be mad. Love the dolphins.
- Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966).
- And yet I swear by the sacred name of my creator that it was true. It was true sunshine; the true music; the true splash of the fountains from the mouth of stone dolphins.
- Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915), Part One, Ch. I (p. 7).
- Eventually it may be possible for humans to speak with another species. I have come to this conclusion after careful consideration of evidence gained through my research experiments with dolphins. If new scientific developments are to be made in this direction, however, certain changes in our basic orientation and philosophy will be necessary.
- John Lily Man and Dolphin (1961)
- Then, cleaving the grass, gazelles appear
(The gentler dolphins of kindlier waves).
- Thomas Sturge Moore, "The Gazelles", line 13; from The Centaur's Booty (London: Duckworth, 1903) p. ix.
- Though pleased to see the dolphins play,
I mind my compass and my way.
- Matthew Green, The Spleen (1973).