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Heavy metal songs: Contaminated songbirds sing the wrong tunes

Scientists have long known that mercury is a potent toxicant: It disrupts the architecture of human brains, and it can change birds’ behavior and kill their chicks. But after extensive research in Virginia, scientists have shown that mercury also alters the very thing that many birds are known for – their songs. Emitted by the burning of coal, mercury in the atmosphere has quadrupled since the days before i ...

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