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How Sea Lions Are Inspiring the Future of Underwater Transport

Don’t be fooled by a sea lion’s big, sweet eyes and playful demeanor—these guys move through water like a torpedo. While most animals swim using a tail or fluke, sea lions clap their fore flippers into their bodies to propel themselves to incredible speeds. It’s an elegant, efficient movement that land-dweller Megan Leftwich, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at George Washington University, wants to reproduce in robotic form.

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Nature