Snails can survive the digestive system of birdsJuly 12th, 2011 - 9:47 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt
Tokyo, Japan, July 12 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Japanese scientists have reported that snails can survive the digestive system of birds. The study which was carried out by researchers from Tohoku University identified that up to about 15 percent of tiny -land snails consumed by birds come out through the droppings still alive.
The findings provide vital clue to how snails are dispersed. Previous studies have found that pond snails can survive being eaten by fishes but this is the first time that land snails have been found to have such ability.
The researchers published the study and their findings in the Journal of Biogeography. The researchers said they fed the Japanese white-eyes bird with the land snail Tornatellides boeningi. After some time, the droppings of the birds were examined.
It was found that about 15 percent of the snails which were consumed survived the digestive system of the bird.
Shinichiro Wada who was part of the research team told reporters that, “We were surprised that a high rate, about 15 percent, of snails were still alive after passing through the gut of [the] birds.”
The scientists say the small size of the snails may be the reason why they survive the digestive system of the birds. The snails have an average size of 2.5mm.
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