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Demining Monkeys
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David Moles linked to this UPI story about Morocco offering up to 2,000 monkeys to coalition forces to help with demining efforts.

Now, the story quotes the Moroccan paper as quoting a "highly-informed source" saying this is a "well-known military tactic". But it must not be very well known, because I can't find jack crap about demining monkeys.

There's plenty of info on the web about various demining techniques, and quite a bit about using dogs to detect them. But I can't find a damn thing about monkeys used in demining efforts.

The story says the monkeys are "trained in detonating land mines", which sounds suspect to me in the first place. I could believe that monkeys could be trained to detect mines. Most monkeys have good vision, they're small and nimble, and low to the ground. I'm also not sure that a 15-lb. monkey would set off a mine if they walked across it. (Here's the How Stuff Works section on land mines. They say the necessary pressure to detonate the most common form of anti-personnel mine is about 19.8 lbs.)

I could see how you could train a monkey to detect mines, and I could see how they'd be good at it. But I'll be damned if I can find any until I see something other than a UPI wire story quoting a Moroccan paper, I'm considering it about as reliable as reported sightings of Bat Boy.

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