December 2, 2022

World’s heaviest flying bird uses plants to self-medicate, scientists say

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Taking drugs if you’re feeling under the weather is old news to humans, but new research suggests that the world’s heaviest the bird Flight may be the latest animal to use plants as medicine.

Researchers in Madrid, Spain, studied data from 619 falls. belong to the great bustards and discovered that the two plant species they eat most of all in their diet.antiparasitic Effects.”

“Here we show that great bustards prefer to eat plants with chemical compounds with antiparasitic effects,” lead author Luis M. Bautista Sopilana, a scientist at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, said in a news release Wednesday. “

Found in parts of Europe, Africa and Asia, great bustards are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, according to the release. About 70 percent of the population lives in the Iberian Peninsula.

Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution A study published in the journal Science on Wednesday found that great bustards ate a lot of corn poppies (Papaver rheaas) and purple vipers bugles (Echium plantagineum). In humans, Corn on the cob Used as a sedative and pain reliever for their medicinal properties, purple viper bugles can be poisonous if consumed.

Through analysis of plant extracts, the researchers discovered that both had anti-parasitic properties, which they tested against three common parasites. Birds: protozoan Trichomonas gallinae, nematode Meloidogyne javanica and fungus Aspergillus niger.

According to the study, both plants were highly effective in killing or inhibiting the effects of protozoa and nematodes. Beagles of the purple viper showed moderate defense against the fungus.

Being healthy is one of the ways a male Great Bustard can make himself attractive to attract a female.

The researchers noted that these plants were eaten specifically during the mating season, which they believe was to negate the increased effects of the parasite during that time.

There are great bastards. Known as lake breeders, the news release said, males congregate in selected locations to put on a display for visiting females, who then choose a mate based on the show.

“In theory, both sexes of great bustards could benefit from seeking out medicinal plants during the mating season when sexually transmitted diseases are common—while males that consume plants with active disease-fighting compounds “They look healthier, stronger and more attractive to women,” Azucena Gonzalez-Coloma, a researcher at the Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Madrid and co-author of the study, said in the release.

Paul Rose, a zoologist and lecturer in animal behavior at the University of Exeter in England, said the findings show that great bustards have the ability to determine what is good for them at a particular time and that Change their foraging behavior accordingly. He was not involved in the study.

“We usually associate self-medication in species like primates, so it’s great to see researchers studying endangered birds,” Rose told CNN.

Chimpanzees have been seen. Catching insects and applying them to your woundsAs well as wounding others, possibly as a form of medicine, while Dolphins rub up against certain types of corals. To protect their skin from infection.

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