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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday March 19 2017, @02:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-no-lasers dept.

The U.S. Navy is enlisting the help of seals—but not the kind of highly trained special operatives with whom it usually associates.

Real seals, specifically their whiskers, may be the key to a new way for ships and underwater vehicles to sense their environment, scientists think.

When a fish swims by, a hungry seal senses the wake with its whiskers. It can tell characteristics of the fish, such as shape and size, and track the location even when it's murky or dark.

Despite the adorable possibilities, scientists aren't looking to outfit ships and vehicles with whiskers. They're studying how the whiskers function to learn how to reverse-engineer the system. The science could be applied to the development of a future sensor.

"If we want to design the best systems, it makes sense to take advantage of millions of years of work that nature has done for us," said Christin Murphy, a marine mammal biologist.

Why not simply weaponize catfish? Victory = lunch.


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  • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday March 19 2017, @03:16AM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 19 2017, @03:16AM (#481018) Homepage Journal

    People hate seals. Not me, but the serious fishermen.

    Seals are competition. They eat fishermens' catch.

    What your leftist media don't tell you is that fishermen when out at sea or otherwise given the chance shoot seals to death out on the open ocean.

    And if they can get away with it, they shoot much smaller vermin more close by the coastline.

    This is retarded only because they have reverse-engineered the antannae of insects [gizmodo.com] such that they can now remote-control them based on their sensory input.

    Catfish are good-tasting but are bony freshwater fish that will not fight seals, but will fight you.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 19 2017, @04:18AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 19 2017, @04:18AM (#481037)

    ...seal's whiskers may be drunk as a general tonic, as it is said to purify the blood and cleanse the kidneys. A not-so-well-known fact that is that seal's whiskers are also helpful for relieving stress and tiredness.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 19 2017, @05:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 19 2017, @05:04AM (#481048)

      Alternative medicine! Where's my powdered tiger's penis?

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday March 19 2017, @01:20PM

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 19 2017, @01:20PM (#481126) Homepage Journal

    Give me Whiskery McWhiskerface!

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
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