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Prosthetic Tail for Florida Dolphin

Winter mugs for the camera

Winter mugs for the camera

An Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin named Winter lost her tail to a crab trap line and has been rehabilitating at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Though the aquarium’s motto is “Rescue, Rehab, Release,” Winter, unable to swim normally, will probably spend the rest of her life there.

Now comes news that she may be fitted with a prosthetic tail. This would be a first, and quite a technological feat. Says Steve McCulloch, director of dolphin and whale research at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, “The dolphin’s tail fin is the most powerful swimming mechanism Mother Nature ever designed. When you see how much pressure they put on their flukes, the prosthesis is going to take a marvel of modern engineering.”

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