oly720man
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New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:54 am

Landmines - brutal and indiscriminate weapons - are depressingly common in the developing world. Can the highly developed sense of smell of rats help to clear this scourge?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8549681.stm

I wonder when they'll turn up alongside drugs dogs to check passengers for trouser bombs. "Excuse me sir while ratty runs up your trousers... please keep still."
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
skidmarks
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:58 am

Quoting oly720man (Thread starter):
I wonder when they'll turn up alongside drugs dogs to check passengers for trouser bombs. "Excuse me sir while ratty runs up your trousers... please keep still."

That'll be Ferrets!  

Andy   
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afterburner
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:44 am

Just wait until PETA having a protest carrying a banner "We rather lose our legs than kill a rat". 
 
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n229nw
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:14 am

Rats are amazing animals, and extremely intelligent. I'm not surprised that they would be useful for this.

Don't forget Ali G and the "bomb sniffing dolphins"   
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DocLightning
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:22 am

Quoting afterburner (Reply 2):
Just wait until PETA having a protest carrying a banner "We rather lose our legs than kill a rat".

You beat me to it. Ah, PETA. STOP DONATING TO PETA, PEOPLE! Just STOP! They aren't animal lovers, they're people haters!

I give it about 30 days until they protest.
-Doc Lightning-

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skysurfer
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:36 pm

Quoting n229nw (Reply 3):
Rats are amazing animals, and extremely intelligent. I'm not surprised that they would be useful for this.

My thoughts exactly! They're easy to train, loyal, fun loving and super intelligent! I used to have four of them and every morning (even though i sometimes sneaked out of bed so they wouldn't know when i was on the go), there they were, all waiting at the top of the cage! If i lowered my shoulders to cage height they'd all climb on, if i stuck my hand with it smelling of food they wouldn't bite, when i came home from work they'd all be waiting again and if i put them on the floor and called their names from 20ft away they'd come running over! I'm not surprised they're being used to detect mines, as long as they know there's a reward on the way they'll give you everything you ask! Unlike cats (which i love btw) who choose to make us humans THEIR pet! lol

Cheers

Stu
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Airstud
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:47 pm

PETA = People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.
Pancakes are delicious.
 
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n229nw
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:53 am

Quoting SkySurfer (Reply 5):
They're easy to train, loyal, fun loving and super intelligent! I used to have four of them and every morning (even though i sometimes sneaked out of bed so they wouldn't know when i was on the go)

I had many as pets too. Besides coming when called, I also never had one that didn't figure out how to get out of its cage (had to use twisty seals to close them)...but my favorite rat when I was a kid used to escape from his cage at night and climb up and curl up in bed next to me...They were the best pets.

Unlike hamsters that don't want anything to do with humans and that bite, pet rats actually really love their humans.

In a couple years, my kids will hopefully be old enough to get a rat or two!
All Glory to the Hypnotoad!
 
PPVRA
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:51 am

Apparently it's not such a great idea:

"Their legs are too small to walk regular patterns in overgrown fields, so vegetation must be trimmed, and the rats attached to a string to literally keep them in line. “You need to spend so much time clearing space, you’re better off doing it manually,” Smith says."
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/di...ne-detection-african-pouched-rats/

Sadly. I'd imagine they are too tiny to set off the bombs by themselves or you could just set them loose.

[Edited 2010-03-08 19:58:47]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
skysurfer
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:27 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 8):
Sadly. I'd imagine they are too tiny to set off the bombs by themselves or you could just set them loose.

Ouch!!!! If you want to do it that way then make it those out of control 'rattus rattus' species who do nothing more than spread disease and breed untill there's millions of them! Leave the Rattus Norvegicus to us rat lovers  

Stu
In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
 
PPVRA
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:06 am

Quoting SkySurfer (Reply 9):
Leave the Rattus Norvegicus to us rat lovers

Fine by me!  
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
oly720man
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RE: New Mine Detectors...... Rats.

Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:27 am

.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 8):
I'd imagine they are too tiny to set off the bombs by themselves or you could just set them loose.

I expect that's the grand plan. I can't imagine someone wanting to walk through a minefield with a rat on a lead, just stand at the edge and look for them digging.

The ex-soldier does have a point about their capabilities, but if they rely on smell they should more easily follow a scent to the mine rather than having to go over every inch to look for other signs.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain

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