Military Dolphins: What Do They Do and Who Uses Them?

atlantic-navy-dolphinRussian activities in Crimea now include taking over a Ukrainian military unit made up of bottlenose dolphins, according to news reports.

It’s unclear how the Russian navy intends to use these “combat dolphins,” although state-run Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that the mammals will be getting equipment upgrades.

Using marine mammals like dolphins, whales, or sea lions for military purposes isn’t new. Nor is it restricted to the Ukrainian or Russian navies—the U.S. Navy has had a similar program since the 1960s. The ability of these animals to detect and find targets at depth or in murky water is something technology can’t duplicate yet, but which militaries find very valuable.

The Sevastopol-based “combat dolphins” are trained to search for and tag underwater mines or unwanted divers or swimmers attempting to access restricted waterways, says RIA Novosti.

Full story: National Geographic

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