Dolphin training

Dolphin training

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This image is part of the feature Navy Mammals

Credit: LOUISE MURRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dolphin training, Navy Marine Mammal Program, San Diego, USA. Animal trainer instructing a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) to beach itself by launching out of the water and onto a mat. The trainer uses a combination of whistles, vocal calls and hand gestures to direct the dolphin. Self-beaching is useful when transporting dolphins to and from areas where they must work. US Navy dolphins are also trained to detect underwater mines, deliver equipment to divers, locate lost objects and guard against intruders. Dolphins are highly intelligent animals and proficient swimmers, able to use echolocation to sense their surroundings. The NMMP also trains California sea lions, killer whales and beluga whales.

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