Colonization and human agricultural expansion may have helped cattle egrets – the white bird almost always seen with a herd of cows – populate nearly all seven continents. Scientists speculate that the unassuming birds first landed in the Americas from Senegal and Zaire, and likely settled because they had a reliable food source in the pests and insects that were brought to the surface by the hooves of cows. Today, these egrets have expanded to feast near human settlements like parks, wastewater treatment plants, and even airport runways.
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With drug overdose deaths on the rise, authorities are attempting to curb the epidemic by tracking and sharing information in real time. In one unique effort, a nonprofit in New York City is using drug-testing equipment and stamping or marking habits of dealers to identify drug batches that may endanger users. Other approaches are also being used, such as monitoring drug-related chatter on Reddit and analyzing local wastewater for opioid and other drug levels. With the combination of these efforts, researchers hope to put a dent in the opioid crisis and reduce overdose deaths. Read full article here