The Beacon

Go on Shake Your Tail Feathers

Here's one for the birds: Scientists discovered they can gauge levels of water contamination from toxic, sometimes cancer-causing chemicals, by analyzing a substance secreted from a gland near the base of birds' tail feathers.


Birds secrete a substance known as preen oil, which helps protect them from water and parasites. Though the surest way to gauge contaminant levels is by taking blood and tissue samples, such tests are invasive and expensive. A recent report shows with proper calculations, measuring preen oil is just as effective.


Oceana combats pollution in many forms, be it mercury contamination or oil spills not just for animal health, but for people health too.


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