Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Ratting Out Landmines

We're busy and sleep deprived here at the Darwin household, but here's a strange and fascinating story for your Friday: In parts of central Africa which have been plagued by recurring wars, getting landmines and other dangerous munitions cleared is a major obstacle to land use. Clearing landmines is a hugely dangerous operation, but people have recently found a unique ally in the work, the African Giant Pouched Rat.
The rats have an exceptional sense of smell and can be trained to find buried landmines by scent. They can find the mines faster than a human with a metal detector, and they're light enough that they don't set the mines off when they step on them. They're also local, disease resistant, and with a lifespan of around eight years they provide lots of return for the time spent training them.

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