Yes, yes, the appearance of a smile is the consequence of dolphin physiology and not really a measure of mood. Still, dolphins are famously found to be in a good mood, as evidenced in all the usual ways, like engagement, energy, curiosity, play, laughter. Maybe dolphin physiology reflects dolphin karma? It certainly reflects dolphin evolution.
Dolphins are—we know, we know—very social and very intelligent, and they have special sonar powers too. But, as the cynics like to say, show me their technology, their art and finance; where’s their architecture, huh? What are they doing with all that intelligence?
Recent research seems to suggest that dolphins have actually majored in having good clean healthy fun; that’s what they are doing with their intelligence. Yup. They look so happy because they are so happy. And, if there were such a thing as a cynical dolphin, he or she might point to your finance, art and architecture and ask, “What’s the point when you’re all so miserable?”
Yes, I am going to say it: maybe we could learn something from dolphins. What would it be like to live with good-humored healthy fun as a primary purpose? What would it do to the world if seven billion humans changed their major to something dolphinesque?