The sea lion demonstrated his minesweeping skills by swimming down to a fake mine and putting a clamp onto the device, so that handlers from the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific could reel it in. The sea lion has also learned to attach leg cuffs to enemy divers, immobilizing them and allowing human sailors on the surface to pull in the intruders. A special sea lion harness can also carry cameras that provide live underwater video.The U.S. Navy has now begun using its sea lions to patrol for terrorists or other underwater saboteurs at a base in Washington State.
The fine Navy tradition involving sea mammals also includes using dolphins to mark underwater mines during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Daily Telegraph notes that the Navy's ranks now include 28 California sea lions, 80 Atlantic and Pacific bottlenose dolphins, and a Beluga whale.
[via The Daily Telegraph]
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.