Tuesday, March 5, 2013

passing the gas

Bassian thrush (Zoothera lunulata)

Forgive me for being indelicate and sophomoric, but I played four years of high school baseball, so I'm used to locker room humor. I wish I'd known about this mottled bird's little trick when I was roaming the outfield for good old Gatlinburg-Pittman.

This is apparently true. And its appeal? Remember I was once an adolescent male

Birds have many curious behaviors. In my part of the world, a towhee hops backwards through the dead leaves on the ground, turning them over to stir up a meal—insect, spider, worm, etc. On the other side of the world, in Australia and Tasmania, the secretive ground-loving Bassian thrush goes a step further. According to author Dominic Couzens, the medium-sized songbird also searches the leaf liter for prey and ever so often, squats and farts. As Natural History magazine reports, "The flatulence, we are told, startles earthworms into revealing their location."  And how could they not?

In one end and out the other, so to speak.

Thanks, Shearwater, for this nature factoid.


Patricia Lichen said...

Well. You learn something new every day.

Ain't evolution a hoot? (Or a toot?)

Marie said...

Life is full of fascinating and sometimes really funny facts! Thanks for sharing this...made my day! :-)