Researchers: Carbon dating can help catch poachers

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Researchers at the universities of Michigan and Utah say they've developed a new way to catch poachers of endangered elephants, hippos and rhinos through carbon dating.

University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher, University of Utah geochemist Thure Cerling and former University of Utah doctoral student Kevin Uno have collaborated on the technique.

The University of Michigan says the technique measures the amount of radioactive carbon 14 deposited in the animals' tusks to reveal the year when they died. The Ann Arbor school says that helps authorities determine whether the animals were killed legally or were poached.

Uno says the dating method "is affordable and accessible to government and law enforcement agencies" at a cost of about $500 per sample.


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