A Remarkable Ability Dolphins have a remarkable ability to detect and identify objects through echolocation, even objects that are buried under sand on the ocean floor. Work by NMMF scientists has demonstrated that dolphin echolocation is incredibly flexible; dolphins can steer and change the width of their echolocation beams dramatically and quickly (on the order of tens of milliseconds). However, it is the ability to listen to the echoes and transform them into representations of the environment that is truly remarkable. Current Research The NMMF, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, is currently conducting a number of studies on dolphin echolocation. Current research efforts are funded by the Office of Naval Research and are part of a long-term research plan to better understand how the dolphin detects and identifies underwater objects. The NMMF is also partnering with multiple universities as part of a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative to study the echolocation of dolphins and bats.