Worms will never taste the same: a new study examines how insecticides influence,,birds

It may take just a scent, while passing by a restaurant, to jog a memory of a meal gone bad. Many people, after eating something that makes them ill, refuse to consume that food again. Some birds apparently feel the same way about eating insects that have been exposed to insecticides.

A study, conducted by Lowell K. Nicolaus and Hansoo Lee of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, and published in the August edition of Ecological Applications, found that Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) will consistently avoid mealworms (Tenebriosp.) which have been injected with sub-lethal doses of the insecticide parathion, after only a single exposure. Parathion is an organophosphate, one of the most widely used classes of insecticide in both industrialized and developing nations.

This avoidance of toxic prey, known as conditioned taste aversion (CTA), began after the blackbirds were exposed to the contaminated worms for only one day. The birds were exposed to extremely low levels of parathion, levels too low to induce obvious illness. This suggests the possibility of a widespread, undetected exposure to these insecticides and a loss of important food sources for birds and their nestlings.

All the work in this study was done among free-ranging birds, which allowed the researchers to avoid many of the artificialities of captive studies. This was possible because birds in the study were in separate breeding territories.

The benefits of avoiding toxic foods include reducing the risk of subsequent poisoning of adults, and also of adults feeding toxic prey to their young. These results suggest the possibility, however, of CTA playing a role in reported declines of insect-eating birds populations. CTA could limit both feeding efficiency and breeding success in birds that must exploit many resources to flourish.

CTA could also have widespread agricultural implications. A decline in bird predation on insects mi

Contact: Alison Gillespie
Ecological Society of America

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Worms point the way on nerve disease
2. Enzyme Required To Prolong Life In Worms Identified By Researchers At Columbia; Key Enzyme Appears To Protect Animal Cells From Oxidative Damage
3. Survival Of The Yellowstone Grizzlies, Ferns As Forest Filters And The Role Of Worms In Climate Change: The April Edition Of Ecology Is Now Available
4. Fossil Evidence Of Worms Over One Billion Years Old Reported In Science
5. New U. of Colorado electron microscopes provide cell images never seen before
6. 400 never-before published findings to be presented at pharmacology conference
7. Metabolism in women after weight loss varies from that of never overweight women
8. Natural selection at work in genetic variation to taste
9. A flys taste experience is much like our own
10. Flies may taste bitter better, first map of insect tongue reveals
11. AChemS: Cutting edge research in taste, smell, & chemical irritation

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/3/2018)... ... November 01, 2018 , ... The Conference Forum ... held February 6-8, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Times Square in New York ... session is Genentech’s Global Franchise Leader in Cancer Immunotherapy Biomarkers and IO360° Plenary ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... , ... Karius , the leading infectious disease genomics company, is offering ... pediatric patients. One grant of up to $50,000 will be awarded to a research ... In addition to the funding, Karius will cover the cost of sequencing a limited ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... , ... As 2018 comes to a close, significant changes to medical device ... for manufacturers worldwide. To mark World Quality Day this month, Boulder iQ ... may sound far off, the May 26 deadline transition deadline that year for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/31/2018)... ... October 30, 2018 , ... The assessment ... very important aspect of experimental biology. Reproducibility of cell-based assays is one of ... choosing the appropriate assay type, there are many more factors to be considered ...
(Date:10/29/2018)... ... ... PracticeMatch , a company that provides the nation’s largest physician recruitment marketing ... 2019. The company has expanded its offering of virtual (online) recruiting events for the ... which have the highest concentrations of resident and fellow physicians. , The schedule ...
(Date:10/24/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... October 22, 2018 , ... ... today announces the company’s Lunula Laser was featured on an episode of ... , Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Glynis R. Ablon, MD , discusses and demonstrates ...
(Date:10/24/2018)... ... October 22, 2018 , ... ... and medical experts from around the world, will host its first Annual ... best practices in testing, chromatography, centrifugation, as well as developments in chemical sensors ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: