Dragonflies might be the coolest type of insect around – beautiful engineering and deadly hunting skills all in one. They can also, it turns out, be used to measure heavy metals in the environment, as a video from Dartmouth (here it is) demonstrates.

A citizen science program that began over a decade ago found that dragonflies can be used to measure mercury pollution. Research Professor Celia Chen, director of Dartmouth’s Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program, explains the national research effort, which grew out of a Dartmouth-affiliated regional project to collect dragonfly larvae.

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