Bottlenose dolphin

Tursiops truncatus

These podcasts are drawn from Naturally Intelligent by Design– a fine art picture book and poetic tale that illuminates the creative strategies of 365 animals to adapt to a changing world. Their biological designs, community dynamics, lifestyles, movement, behavior– natural intelligence, can inspire us every day of the year to live happy, healthy, sustainable lives.

Naturally Intelligent

by Design


Weekly Podcast


I am inspired to be my empathetic me like the bottlenose dolphin, who surfs happily along, singing his ocean song within the wave’s cresting bow-bathed in the power of now, until one among the marine mammal pod– becomes threatened- OMG. Then, as if all had taken a vow of protection, the entire selfless squad swims to attention and in a magnificently coordinated way, saves the day by risking their bottlenoses- no matter the sacrifice, to protect the wellbeing of the pod in their pelagic paradise. Highly intelligent marine mammals, the dolphins communicate via complex arrays — whistles, clicks, pulsated sounds, and playful gestures (e.g. tail-walking), trailed by a smiling gaze. Oh, one cool secret in the ocean deep that they as a pod family keep is that dolphins also never really fall fast asleep. One brain hemisphere always stays active during their 8-hour rest, so as to forever be able to breathe when the surface waves they crest. Thus, without a break, the dolphins are always half awake. Twenty-four seven in Grecian myth, the dolphin is celebrated as bringing good luck, especially to the gods, forever love struck. Take Poseidon, for instance, who was able to win as his bride, a famous Greek Goddess, by commanding dolphins to stay by his side. As legend has it, Aphrodite lingered near this ocean-loving god day after day at first because she was mesmerized by the dolphins at play, and only later by Poseidon becoming awestruck, because he reflected the dolphin’s good luck. And in the Pacfic Ocean waters today as Polynesian shamans would say, when the big Kahuna wave relays, the spirited dolphin is ready to ride… to carry human souls across to the other side, essentially escorting the dead onto heaven’s beachhead.


How will I squeeze the richness of life out of every moment today to live in the power of now– attracting joy, love and good luck- holy wow?

 Challenge: Decide your optimal wake-sleep cycle and commit to that cycle for this month, so you can sufficiently recharge your batteries and be fully present to your waking, wellspring life- every moment, every day.

Author, Catherine Cunningham, PhD

Thank you for listening to our podcast. Please feel free to share an experience you have had with our featured animal or something you learned from our featured animal.

Available in 2019

Naturally Intelligent By Design

Non-Fiction, 365 Inspirations from Animals in Nature

Naturally Intelligent by Design was written by ecologist, anthropologist, and creative writer, Catherine Cunningham, PhD with a forward by Joe Rohde, Creative Executive at Disney Imagineering and wildlife, indigenous culture advocate. Wildlife imagery was contributed by Nature’s Reflection Photography and friends. Naturally Intelligent by Design was written as a 21st C almanac in a Dr. Seuss-like way to deliver an entertaining, easy-to-read, short, fun, factual, inspiring reflection on one specially-selected animal every day of the year… year after year after year.

Catherine Cunningham produces

Natural Intelligence Podcasts

Naturally Intelligent Podcasts

Read by the author, Catherine Cunningham, PhD


Every Friday we highlight one new animal in a 3-5 minute podcast from our collection of 365 animals, showcased in our Naturally Intelligent by Design fine art picture picture book. We welcome you every Friday to listen to our featured animal- to be inspired by their natural intelligence, to share with your friends, and to comment below. Enjoy!

Featured Podcast