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Fruit Foragers

Discover the evolution of the Eclectus parrot's dietary preferences.

By Rob Marshall, B.V.S.C., M.A.C.V.S.C. and Tailai O'Brien

fruit foragers excerptIn the wild, the Eclectus parrot inhabits lowland rainforests, where it has evolved special characteristics that are unique to its survival as a species. The vast array and bountiful supply of fruits were the initial attraction that enticed its prehistoric, seed-eating ancestors into the rainforest. Extraordinary physiological adaptations then allowed the Eclectus parrot to reap the nutritional benefits of the rainforest fruits, and gave it the opportunity to become the largest parrot within its cloistered lowland habitat.

The vast array and bountiful supply of fruits were the initial attraction that enticed its prehistoric, seed-eating ancestors into the rainforest. Extraordinary physiological adaptations then allowed the Eclectus parrot to reap the nutritional benefits of the rainforest fruits, and gave it the opportunity to become the largest parrot within its cloistered lowland habitat.

For the full article, pick up the May 2012 issue of BIRD TALK at your local retailer or by purchasing a PDF download here.

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