U.S. Navy
  • Navy Marine Mammals

    From dolphins to killer whales and sea lions, the U.S. Navy has employed a host of marine mammals in operations around the world. The bottlenose dolphin pictured here was participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Arabian Gulf while wearing an acoustic tracking device on its fin.
    U.S. Navy
  • Navy Marine Mammals

    The Navy attempted to train sharks to participate in underwater operations, including "swimmer protection."
    U.S. Navy
  • Navy Marine Mammals

    The U.S. Navy describes its dolphins as capable of completing more than a dozen critical tasks, including "underwater object recovery" and "warding off sharks" for Navy divers.
    U.S. Navy
  • Navy Marine Mammals

    Killer whales have also served under the Navy's banner. Like dolphins, the whales are capable of underwater object recovery and detecting underwater mines.
    U.S. Navy
  • Navy Marine Mammals

    However, killer whales aren't the only kind of whale the Navy works with underwater. The pilot whale, pictured here, is capable with a little technical assistance of picking up objects from the sea floor like torpedoes.
    U.S. Navy
  • Navy Marine Mammals

    The U.S. Navy's work with dolphins goes back to the 1960s when the military first started to study the aqua-dynamics of the mammals to help them design ships and submarines. The Navy quickly realized the animals could be used for more complex assistance tasks.
    U.S. Navy
  • Navy Marine Mammals

    Beyond dolphins and whales, the Navy has also employed grey seals, which are capable of "target detection." According to one U.S. Navy spokesperson, animals like this have capabilities that are "so far unmatched by anything manmade."
    U.S. Navy
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