Special from the May issue of SuperScience
By Gail Hennessey
This team of sea lions has been trained to detect danger, such as a diver swimming too close to an American ship. The enemy diver could be planning an attack. The sea lions have been taught to swim quietly up to the diver from behind. Then they snap a locking clamp onto the intruder's leg or arm. Before the enemy knows what's happened, the sea lion has already darted away. In the meantime, human sailors pull on a rope attached to the clamp to haul the diver out of the water for questioning.
Other marine mammals, such as dolphins and porpoises, have helped our troops in past wars. But unlike dolphins, sea lions don't mind the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. And, if needed, sea lions can chase the enemy onto land!