The "Intelligent Dolphins" post that should have been here a month ago

As was widely and relatively quietly printed in newspapers during the planetary reorganization fiasco, a South African researcher has presented a paper stating dolphins are less intelligent than previously thought, as their brains are large but the complex structure is not there. Tests showed dolphins can't even do tasks a goldfish can do, due to too many glia and insufficient neurons.

The kicker, as I'm sure other bloggers told you in my absence, is that this fact was well known. It had previously been published. In the New York Times? Nope. USA Today? Uh uh. Washington Post? Atlanta Journal Constitution? Chicago Tribune? Western Standard? Where?

From the freaking Onion: Study: Dolphins Not So Intelligent On Land - February 15, 2006. To wit:

GAINESVILLE, FL—Although dolphins have long been celebrated for their high intelligence and for appearing to have a complex language, a team of researchers at the University of Florida reported Monday that these traits are markedly less evident on dry land.

According to study researchers, a group of 25 bottlenose dolphins removed from their holding tanks failed 11 exercises designed to test their basic cognitive abilities and reasoning skills.

"The dolphins were incapable of recognizing and repeating simple gestures," said study co-author Dr. Scott Lindell. "Their non-verbal communications were limited to a rapid constriction and expansion of the blowhole, various incomprehensible fin motions, and heavy tremors while they lay prone on the lab table."

After capturing the dolphins from the ocean, Lindell and his colleagues tagged them and placed them under the intense, high-wattage lights of a moisture-proof lab. The researchers then administered an extensive battery of tests designed to measure everything from the dolphins' self-awareness to their aptitude for writing and reading comprehension.

"Dolphins have a popular reputation for being excellent communicators," Lindell said. "But our study group offered only three types of response to every question we posed: a nonsensical, labored wheezing, an earsplitting barrage of unintelligible high-pitched shrieks, and in extreme cases, a shrill, distressed scream."

So there you have it: The Onion: second only to Third Edge of the Sword as your source of breaking news.