The week's good news: May 25, 2023

It wasn't all bad!

A California condor soars through the air
(Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

1. A fake egg could boost California condor breeding programs

A 3D-printed high-tech egg could be the key to helping the critically endangered California condor. At the Oregon Zoo, when California condors lay their eggs, staffers move them from the nest into an incubator. This is done to protect the eggs, and the zoo wants to know as much as possible about nest conditions in order to replicate the atmosphere in the incubator. The smart egg was created to gather data from the nest, with the shell made of bird-safe plastic. Inside, there are sensors that monitor the temperature of the nest and how the egg is moved. Animal ecologist Scott Shaffer and bird scientist Constance Woodman made the egg and dyed it the same blue-green hue as real condor eggs. The condor parents who sat on the egg for two months did not appear to notice it was fake, and their chick is now back with them. Once the breeding season is done, the data will be analyzed and used for future incubator settings. "It's just a really cool use of technology that will only get better," Shaffer told The New York Times.

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