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   Undertoad  Thursday May 2 11:26 AM

5/2/2002: Shit-eating bird

This is the Egyptian vulture. Scientists believe that its beautiful orange beak and yellow face helps it to attract mates.

But it has a problem: that coloring is produced by beta-carotene, and the bird needs a ton of beta-carotene to produce good coloration.

The best place to find beta-carotene, it turns out, is in the feces of hooved animals. And so the bird scarfs down that dung.

The full story:

Yelof  Thursday May 2 12:16 PM

In India Vultures dying off, tradition of burial by exposure suffering.

"During the 1980s, 100 to 150 vultures would descend on a single carcass, stripping it to the bone within 20 minutes," said Prakash. "You would never find a carcass in the 80s, only a skeleton. Now the carcasses just rot and stink for days."

Torrere  Friday May 3 02:21 AM

Very interesting article, Yelof.

I'd like to see the Towers of Silence someday, they and they practices associated with them sound pretty cool.

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