How Animal Movements Help Us Study the Planet

This map shows how elephants moved across Kruger National Park in South Africa over one year. Image Credit: Thaker, M., et al. (2019)

Scientists have been underutilizing a key resource we can use to help us understand Earth: animals. Our fellow Earthlings have a much different, and usually much more direct, relationship with the Earth. They move around the planet in ways and to places we don’t.

What can their movements tell us?

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How Salty is Enceladus’ Ocean Under the ice?

An icy satellite of Saturn, Enceladus, has been a subject of increasing interest in recent years since Cassini captured jets of water and other material being ejected out of the south pole of the moon.  One particularly tantalizing hypothesis supported by the sample composition is that there might be life in the oceans under the ice shells of Enceladus. To evaluate Enceladus’ habitability and to figure out the best way to probe this icy moon, scientists need to better understand the chemical composition and dynamics of Enceladus’ ocean.

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