Communication with dolphins is getting better all the time — they’ve been using iPads, for one thing, and humans have been working on a type of Rosetta Stone-like two-way translation device. A new gadget could improve matters even further, by allowing humans to produce the full range of dolphin sounds. The acoustics researchers who developed it call it the Dolphin Speaker.
Some people go swimming with dolphins, enthralled with their easy movement through the water and the grace with which they occasionally breach the surface. Others, like Franky Zapata, make dolphins look pretty lame by comparison. Zapata, a professional jet ski racer and designer of the watercraft has created what he calls a Flyboard, a wearable apparatus that makes him part aquatic Iron Man, part dolphin analog, and all awesome.
After DARPA announced, somewhat sheepishly, that after $19 billion and six years of research, they had concluded that the best bomb-detecting device is a dog, we got to thinking: what other instances are there in which you'd reach not for a traditional tool, but for an animal? These eight examples range from the medical to the military to the culinary fields, but all have one thing in common: there's no better tool for the job than an animal.
A new species of dolphin was discovered by Australian zoologists off the coast of Melbourne, after they realized the 150 or so porpoises that were previously thought to be bottlenose dolphins actually differed significantly in skull shape and DNA. That, kids, is why you should always double-check your homework. Or, you know, dolphin skull shape. Same thing.
Attention hipsters and other people seeking hipness: there’s a new fad catching on in Western Australia's Shark Bay, and you won’t want to be the last to to post pictures of yourself imitating it to your Tumblr feed. “Conching” is a method by which Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are trapping small fish in conch shells, bringing the shells to the surface, and then shaking them with their rostrums to clear out the water and dump the fish into their mouths.
Dolphins can understand more than 100 words, decipher human instructions and even use iPads to learn basic communication skills. But that’s kind of unfair on the part of us humans, don’t you think? Shouldn’t dolphins be able to ask for more smelt without learning our sign language or using our gadgets?
Sea Lion Diver:This mine stands no chance against Navy-trained sea lionsBARCROFT
Californian sea lions have become U.S. Navy recruits alongside dolphins and human divers, as seen in this amazing picture. The Daily Telegraph reports that this particular fellow put on a display for officials at the NATO Underwater Research Center in La Spezia Bay, Italy.
A device used by the British Navy to mark minefields has been repurposed to keep sonar-equipped marine animals out of fishing nets
By Matt Ransford
Posted 03.19.2008 at 5:10 pm 0 Comments
In the past decade, navies have been roundly criticized for extensively testing active sonar due to its potentially detrimental affect on marine life. Military-grade active sonar sends out a powerfully loud low-frequency signal with a range anywhere from tens to hundreds of miles under water. The effect on whales has been well documented—its akin to you or I standing next to a jet engine without ear protection.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.