Dolphins Aren’t Mammal Enough For Me

Photo courtesy of Ricardo Cuppini / Flickr

Photo courtesy of Ricardo Cuppini / Flickr

I’d like to share a sentiment with you that recently led to an argument between my wife and I. The argument occurred during a cinematic documentary depicting ocean life, as all petty spousal spats usually do.

I know a lot of people love them, but I don’t like dolphins. That’s a pretty heavy cross to bear. It’s more than I just don’t like dolphins — I don’t trust dolphins. Don’t be fooled by a dolphin’s quirky, devil-may-care attitude. I assure you beyond all biological doubt that dolphins only act nice when cameras or people are around.

Now most of humanity agrees that dolphins are smart, but I beg to differ. If dolphins are so smart why haven’t they grown legs, crawled out of the ocean and walked upright? Living in the ocean isn’t smart. Who wants to live in the ocean? What a terrible place to live. If you believe in evolution, then dolphins are quite literally the stupidest, so-called “mammal” there is. It’s a great thing that dolphins haven’t sprouted legs, you know. The dolphins would have enslaved us by now.

My major gripe about dolphins is their classification that they are mammals. I’m not here to say what is or is not a mammal. I’m not a maniac. But when I think of mammals I tend to think of certain qualifications. When I look around the world’s wildlife, various characteristics of mammals come to mind.

Dolphins and humans have a good number of similarities, I’ll give you that. We give birth the same way, and dolphins and humans are the only pimps in all of the animal kingdom that have sex for pleasure.

Humans and dolphins even share comparable social structures. Humans stupid enough to get caught are sent to prison. Dolphins stupid enough to get caught go to SeaWorld.

But when I think of mammals — and I’ll tell you what I vehemently argued with my wife — dolphins don’t even come to mind, ditto whales. I think of dolphins as fish. Dolphins have less in common with mammals and more in common with fish.

Don’t believe me? Water. Do you know of any fish that don’t live in water? Living in the ocean is unbecoming of mammals in my staunch opinion. All right now riddle me this: How many humans do you know that have fins? That’s essentially the only pre-requisites of a fish. Does it live in the water and does it have fins.

When I think of mammals, I think of hair. A dolphin doesn’t have hair. A dolphin doesn’t need hair. What does a dolphin need with hair?

Still don’t see it my way? Most mammals I know have nipples. Dolphins don’t have nipples, per se. The nipple of a dolphin is hidden underneath slits in the underbelly. This very moment dolphins are down in the briny deep swimming around with hidden nipples and people keep insisting they are mammals.

Perhaps the most drastic difference is a dolphin has a blowhole it uses to breathe through. A blowhole, people! If I came across a human being with a gross, shotgun-slug-sized hole in their back I would burn it with fire for the sake of humanity and suffer the consequences.

Pretend you had no idea what a dolphin was, and I explained one to you. You wouldn’t be led to believe the thing was a mammal. In fact, you would be liable to think I was describing an alien from outer space.

“Well, a dolphin is devoid of all body hair, armed with inconspicuous nipples and has a large hole in the middle of its back to breathe out of,” I would say. “Oh, and they use this weird sonar ability they inherently possess to find and kill their prey.”

Sorry, that’s not mammal material in my mind. This is why I plan on starting a petition to get dolphins declassified as a member of the mammal species.

At the end of the day, you really only have to ask yourself one question: If it looks like a fish, smells like a fish and swims like a fish, then isn’t it a fish?

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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