Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flipper As Rambo: Dolphins Can Be Great Naval Security Tools

Date:
April 11, 2003
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
Relying on security in wartime can come from a variety of sources – even the flippers of dolphins as they continue to demonstrate in Iraqi waters.

GALVESTON, April 10, 2003 – Relying on security in wartime can come from a variety of sources – even the flippers of dolphins as they continue to demonstrate in Iraqi waters.

Related Articles


Dolphins, sea lions and other marine animals are being equipped with cameras and special sensors to detect underwater mines and explosives and they are “naturals” to do so, says a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher who is internationally known for his work in outfitting marine life with underwater optics.

Randall Davis, professor of marine biology, has been equipping seals and other animals with cameras for 15 years and says dolphins can be a vital security link when it comes to detecting unwanted materials.

“Dolphins are one of the few creatures that have natural sonar abilities,” Davis explains.

“They can detect objects buried three to four inches deep in sediment, such as a mine, and relay that information back to humans. So what they do can be literally a lifesaving act,” Davis adds.

Their natural sonar capability, plus the fact they are easily trainable, make dolphins one of the U.S. military’s best underwater security forces. American military leaders anticipate dolphins may help find even more mines around Iraq’s main port and adjacent coastal waters.

Davis says dolphins can be attached with cameras or sensors – often mounted on their flippers – and are trained to find certain undersea objects. Once such an object, like a mine, is located, the animal is trained to relay the information back to humans and from there, Navy SEALS or other personnel can disarm the devices.

“For the dolphins, finding the mines is usually the easy part. The tricky part can be the communication process from the dolphin to humans,” Davis says.

“But dolphins are incredibly smart. That’s why the Navy owns more bottlenose dolphins than anyone else – about 100 – and they train them in San Diego in the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program and other places to locate explosive devices. The bottlenose dolphin is commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Sea lions have also been trained to locate suspicious intruders and can even snap a lock or clamp on a human leg and then swim away. The clamp is connected to a buoy or rope that signals Navy personnel on the surface that a potential terrorist has been detected.

Davis, who has attached cameras to seals that dive as deep as 1,000 feet or more to record their eating and living habits, says the future of such marine security forces is promising.

“The cameras are getting better, the recording devices are much improved, the sensors are better – all of the technology is improving all the time,” Davis says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Flipper As Rambo: Dolphins Can Be Great Naval Security Tools." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030411070405.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2003, April 11). Flipper As Rambo: Dolphins Can Be Great Naval Security Tools. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030411070405.htm
Texas A&M University. "Flipper As Rambo: Dolphins Can Be Great Naval Security Tools." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030411070405.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins