Nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s may, at last, have a silver lining, because researchers can now measure radiocarbon levels to tell when animals (including humans) were born and when they died, critical information in helping to track poachers of elephants, hippos, rhinos and other wildlife.
“Ivory seizures and illegal trade of animals are on the scale of many billions of dollars each year,” senior author Thure Cerling, a University of Utah geochemist, told Discovery News. “Where did this material come from? Is it from recently poached animals? Is it from some government stockpile? These are important questions that can serve as a starting point for further investigative work.”,