US Navy Employs Dolphins and Sea Lions for Some Missions

August 3, 2011 at 2:00 am 3 comments

While they’re not exactly sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads, they are the next best thing — dolphins natural biosonar is better than anything manmade.

The US Navy Seals have about 75 dolphins and 35 sea lions that are trained to assist with search and recovery type missions. The dolphins have excellent biosonar, making it easy for them to find objects in the water: friendly people, dangerous people, mines and more. They also use sea lions, which have amazing underwater vision, allowing them to find objects on the seafloor.

Think of them as the Navy’s version of the K9 unit. These animals can be deployed by aircraft or vessel anywhere in the world in 72 hours.

The program began in the 1960s and the animals have been deployed in numerous missions, including mine clearing in Iraq and protecting various naval ports.

The sea lions can find threats in the water too and have been credited with saving the Navy millions of dollars simply by recovering dropped equipment and weapons.

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Image: Bodhi Suft School (cc)

Sources: CNN

Entry filed under: Animals. Tags: , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. davidmac3193  |  August 3, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I’m sure PETA will have a problem with using dolphins and sea lions to assist our sailors and marines. Then again, I really don’t care what PETA thinks; they’re morons.

  • 2. RDubs  |  September 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I wish I had a sea lion that could help me find my keys.

  • 3. Gina  |  October 3, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Visiting San Diego this last summer, I watched a trainer and dolphin in action out in the harbor. We were on a tour boat and the guide helpfully was full of great info on this program. I think the trainer even did a little demo (esp. jumping) just for our benefit.


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