Dead birds are wrapped in foil or paper, then sealed in plastic bags to avoid cross contamination. Dolphin tissue samples and dead sea turtles are kept in locked freezers. Field notebooks are collected and secured.
Scientists examining dead animals that were discovered along the Gulf Coast in the wake of the BP oil spill are observing strict laboratory protocols, knowing everything they touch could become evidence in what may prove to be the biggest environmental case in U.S. history.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether those responsible for the spill violated environmental laws that carry civil and sometimes criminal penalties, and the scientists are taking extraordinary steps to make sure their findings hold up in court.
Watch these scientists try and prove that the mass extinction level event that the Gulf oil disaster represents was mass death by natural of causes. -- kdtroxel