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Dolphins were used by the Navy to find explosives (and perhaps detonate them) [1], to identify and warn about submarines, and other related efforts. So, getting a good guage on their intelligence was a priority for the Navy.

Also, just making sure that the dolphins weren't really aliens that were going to abandon us to make room for a superhighway[2].

EDIT: For all the young whippersnappers not getting the reference, that series has left many traces on American culture (and video games), it is not just "another book". Let us old fogies reminiscence ;)

[1]: https://www.diversinstitute.edu/bomb-sniffing-dolphins-navy-...


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