Dolphins Don't Like Rock,
But Swim to Bach
Lynn Ludlow, San Francisco Examiner Staff Writer
San Francisco Examiner
Sunday, August 19, 1979
Hypothesis: Dolphis are said to be highly intelligent,
with big brainpans and acute hearing. Therefore, they may
respond to the music of humans.
Recorded music of Pink Floyd, the popular British rock band
becomes a thundering herd in the dolphin tank at Steinhart
and Theotis, the resident dolphins, react with porpoiseful
Johnson, who handled this test while a student last spring at
the University of California at Santa Cruz, tells aquarium
staffers that the response to Pink Floyd was negligible. She is
just as disappointed when the dolphins later ignore a string
bass thumped with out visible effect.
Dolphins don't boogie.
* * *
Experiment B - After the
unexpected flop of Pink Floyd (possibly through a failure in
amplification) rock is replaced by Bach.
The dolphins halt in mid-water. They
exchange a few chirps.
Then they begin to swim in a
synchronized whirl that could, perhaps, maybe, be construed as a
Conclusion: The evidence is
incomplete, but it's not inconceivable that dolphins have