Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dolphins retired by U.S. Navy: Meet the other animals of war

The U.S. Navy has revealed it is retiring its group of mine-seeking dolphins, in what will be the end of an era for human-animal military relations.

When the dolphins are replaced by unmanned, torpedo-shaped 'knifefish' underwater robots in 2017, the marine mammals will join a long list of species recruited to help out scientists and the military over the years.

From cockroaches to cats, dogs, sea lions and even bats, military chiefs will try almost any animal species to give themselves the edge in combat and espionage situations.

Yahoo! News UK takes a look at the surprisingly large range of animals which have been 'recruited' in the name of war.


During the Second World War, Britain and the U.S. hatched a plan to use bats to carry incendiary devices against Japan.

They reasoned that bats travel in large numbers and can carry more than their own body weight in flight. 

Their ability to fly in darkness and seek out secretive places was also seen as a plus.

The project was submitted to the White House in 1942 and approved by President Roosevelt, but early tests were not successful. On one occasion, the bats set fire to a military airfield in New Mexico after being accidentally released.

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