Horseshoe crab blood is used in tests that detect endotoxin, but extracting the blood has stressed the crab population, and the migratory birds that feed on their eggs have suffered catastrophic population decline, too. One Eli Lilly biologist is leading the charge to save the crabs and birds by switching to a synthetic. It helps that he’s a birder.
How do you tell the difference between a poached Lampornis clemenciae hummingbird and a Amazilia violiceps? Ask the feather detective, Pepper Trail. He works at the world’s only wildlife forensics lab. Colleagues fear what will happen when he retires.