By Dave Knox.
Through his studies, Haldane was also the first scientist to realize that the mysterious deaths of miners who emerged with their faces flushed red was the result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Much like using the flame of the safety lamp, Haldane looked for a solution to help miners deal with this invisible enemy. He found it in the common canary, realizing that the unique anatomy of a bird—and the particularly fast metabolism of the canary—could be a carbon monoxide detector. With that insight, miners began the practice of carrying caged canaries while at work in the mines. If there was any methane or carbon monoxide in the mine, the canary would die before the levels of the gas reached those hazardous to humans.
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