Wednesday, February 21, 2024

50 years in the past, the U.S. Navy enlisted sea lions and different marine mammals

Excerpt from the December 22, 1973 concern of Science Information

Sea lion playing a video game

Spike the California sea lion, a member of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, is educated to play a online game — a part of analysis into cognitive enrichment for animals in this system.

Jaime Ciciora

Flipper joins the navyScience Information, December 22, 1973

Porpoises, sea lions and even whales have been educated to retrieve dummy rockets and different objects from the underside of the ocean…. The animals, guided by a homing system, would carry grappling hooks to submerged objects.… However whales grew to become too costly and stored working off to mate, so analysis now concentrates on smaller sea mammals akin to porpoises.


As we speak, the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, based mostly in San Diego, trains bottlenosed dolphins and California sea lions to guard ships and harbors. Sea lions assist retrieve gear from the ocean ground, dolphins find underwater mines and each species detect unauthorized swimmers. Animals in this system have additionally helped researchers perceive dolphin echolocation, assess the impacts of human-generated noise on wildlife and extra. Present tasks are testing whether or not it’s doable to choose dolphins’ well being based mostly on their whistles and whether or not a online game system can present Navy sea lions with cognitive enrichment.

Beforehand the employees author for bodily sciences at Science Information, Maria Temming is the assistant editor at Science Information Explores. She has bachelor’s levels in physics and English, and a grasp’s in science writing.

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