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Listen&Learn: Military Dolphins

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the dolphins that are trained for war.
military dolphin

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • military: the armed forces of a country
  • train: to teach someone how to do something
  • navy: the section of the military that fights at sea
  • mine: a hidden bomb that explodes when it is touched
  • echolocation: a method of finding objects by using sound
  • drone: a robot that can travel in the air or underwater

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

There are many stories about military dogs who have saved soldiers’ lives. However, dogs are not the only animals that have been trained for . Many naval forces around the world use sea animals to help them detect danger. The first military with sea animals began in 1960, when the U.S. navy started to train to find submarines and underwater mines. They chose dolphins because of their ability to use echolocation, which allows them to find objects in the dark. In 1965, the Soviet Union opened a research centre to train dolphin of their own. Both the U.S. and Russia still train military dolphins today. However, in 2012, the U.S. navy announced that they would eventually their dolphins with underwater drones.

Comprehension questions

1. The first country to start training dolphins for the military was

Correct! Wrong!

The first country to start training dolphins for the military was the United States.

2. The navy chose to use dolphins because

Correct! Wrong!

The navy chose to use dolphins because they can use echolocation.

3. In 2012, the U.S. navy announced that they would replace their dolphins with

Correct! Wrong!

In 2012, the U.S. navy announced that they would replace their dolphins with underwater drones.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Some animal rights activists are concerned about the use of dolphins in the military. They believe it is wrong to keep animals in captivity and put them in danger for human wars. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Transcript

There are many stories about military dogs who have saved soldiers’ lives. However, dogs are not the only animals that have been trained for war. Many naval forces around the world use sea animals to help them detect danger. The first military experiments with sea animals began in 1960, when the U.S. navy started to train dolphins to find submarines and underwater mines. They chose dolphins because of their ability to use echolocation, which allows them to find objects in the dark. In 1965, the Soviet Union opened a research centre to train dolphin soldiers of their own. Both the U.S. and Russia still train military dolphins today. However, in 2012, the U.S. navy announced that they would eventually replace their dolphins with underwater drones. 

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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