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Home Is Where Your Dolphin Is

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(Courtesy of the John C. Lilly Estate)

In the 1960's, Margaret Howe had a very unusual roommate: a bottlenose dolphin named Peter. They lived and worked in a small, damp apartment on the island of St. Thomas. In her first-ever radio interview, Margaret tells the story of their time together. Historian D. Graham Burnett helps us understand what it all means (and why so many of our friends have dolphin tattoos).

Comments [5]

DC in Illinois

Hearing this story left me exasperated.

I think about how many people out there who are trying to do - and/or get noticed for doing - good scientific work. Heaven only knows how many of those people would love to get a forum on a show like yours.

Instead, we get to hear about these "researchers" that were giving LSD and having sex with dolphins. If they were doing that to your family pet you'd (rightly) call the police. And these people purported to care about these creatures? We have names for people like this.

Yet, your show gave this story a forum. I have to believe that it was *because* of the odd, perverse, and even criminal treatment of these sentient beings that you provided a venue for this story. What a shame.

You have a tremendous opportunity to do some good here, yet.....

Mar. 05 2017 05:06 PM
boso de niro from KQED

I was a dolphin in another life, and profoundly appreciate Margaret and Radiolabs participation to promote interspecies communication and a little masturbation if it helps.

Mar. 04 2017 05:40 PM

Another example of humans interfering in the lives of animals, to the detriment of the animal. I really don't like these shows about animals and people on Radiolab. Sure, the science experiment aspect is interesting, but they used Peter and then just abandoned him. And for what?

Oct. 06 2015 11:26 AM
CW from Washington

No mention of how Peter committed suicide (by refusing to come up for air) after the experiments were discontinued and he was sold to an aquarium and never saw Margaret again. That ugly fact kind of sours the whole spin of how much Margaret was so 'deeply emotionally bonded' to him.

However, I would imagine that it shows that Dolphins must have a concept of 'death', if it's something they can choose for themselves when in the depths of despair. I believe the original Flipper dolphin, after the show was over and he was left abandoned and alone, also chose to kill himself in that way.

Oct. 06 2015 03:23 AM
ST from California

I had heard about this particular work before, but you shed new light... fantastic!!

(Whoops, I left comment in the wrong place previously.)


Oct. 01 2015 12:43 AM

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