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8 animals helping humans save the planet

By: Sidney Stevens on Nov. 18, 2011, 8:37 a.m.
Bee with pollen on its legs floats in front of a flower

Photo: Jimmy Kao/Wikimedia Commons [CC by SA-3.0]

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Because of their finely tuned sense of smell, bees also make excellent land mine locators. Not only are they helping scientists create highly accurate minefield maps, but because these winged bomb-sniffers hover rather than step, there’s also no danger of them losing their lives in unintended explosions. In addition, bees also give off warning signals when toxic chemicals are released; in fact, they produce specific buzzing sounds for individual chemicals. Researchers believe these signature buzzes could be used to precisely and accurately detect hazardous pollutants and chemical warfare attacks.