Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Snail Discovered That Can Survive Digestion By Birds

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the service-on-this-flight-is-sh*t dept.

Idle 82

smitty777 writes "A recent article in the Journal of Biogeography describes research showing that 15% of the snails devoured by birds on a Japanese island can survive the digestive process. This is thought to be the mechanism by which the snail populations can migrate from island to island, similar to the way plant seeds are deposited. From the article: 'In the lab, scientists fed the birds with the snails to find out whether any survived the digestive process. "We were surprised that a high rate, about 15 percent, of snails were still alive after passing through the gut of [the] birds," explained researcher Shinichiro Wada.'" As bad as riding in a bird's digestive tract sounds, I'd take it over flying standby on a puddle jumper.

cancel ×

82 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

YEAH THE REG ALREADY DID THIS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738278)

Old news for the nerd who has none !!

Re:YEAH THE REG ALREADY DID THIS !! (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#36738490)

YEAH THE REG ALREADY DID THIS !!

Did you know that Slashdot is a "digest" of reader submitted "tips" about stories on... wait for it... get this: other web sites and sources?

Re:YEAH THE REG ALREADY DID THIS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738976)

Utter bovine excrement! It's delayed a bit but I can assure everyone that what is here comes straight from the bull's ass! May a crack whore beat the shit out of mem right now if I am lying!

It also helps the snails survive in their new home (1)

Moryath (553296) | about 3 years ago | (#36738312)

After all, what bird wants to eat something that looks and smells like bird poop?

Does that count as an unladen swallow? (2)

skids (119237) | about 3 years ago | (#36738314)

...I guess from the snails perspective, it doesn't matter if the "swallow" is laden or not.

Re:Does that count as an unladen swallow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36741606)

Now all we need is a way for people to survive digestion by lawyers :)

TSA (5, Funny)

Normal Dan (1053064) | about 3 years ago | (#36738330)

If snails can survive, so can bombs, or even terrorists. The TSA should focus their time on scanning birds.

Re:TSA (4, Funny)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#36738592)

Actually I was wondering if riding in a birds stomach is better than being molested by the TSA.

Re:TSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36741272)

Some of us like being molested by the TSA you insensitive clod!

Captcha: legume :P

Re:TSA (2)

v1 (525388) | about 3 years ago | (#36739474)

I'd much rather just give them the bird.

Re:TSA (1)

Deefburger (1345835) | about 3 years ago | (#36748704)

And Snails! Quick! We need to re-program the scanners to scan for snails in an undigested state and save the world from snail terrorism! Billions must be spent on this campaign to protect the freedom of America and democracy! Woo Hoo!

Does it make the Birds Angry when they do that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738372)

Just asking.

Re:Does it make the Birds Angry when they do that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738416)

Would you be angry if a snail came squirming out of your ass?

Re:Does it make the Birds Angry when they do that? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 3 years ago | (#36739038)

Some people would pay good money for that experience.

Re:Does it make the Birds Angry when they do that? (0)

kakyoin01 (2040114) | about 3 years ago | (#36739332)

It's funny because it is a reference to a popular application that is all about birds that are angry! :D ...and nothing to do with snails.

Re:Does it make the Birds Angry when they do that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36739734)

Angry Birds: New York Edition
Coming September 11, 2011

Flying... (4, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 3 years ago | (#36738386)

Pretty much like flying coach on an airline...

Re:Flying... (3, Funny)

bkmoore (1910118) | about 3 years ago | (#36738824)

no, the food's better.

Re:Flying... (2)

paulzeye (736282) | about 3 years ago | (#36739716)

I heard everything tastes like chicken

Re:Flying... (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about 3 years ago | (#36739788)

QED - there actually is food

Where have you been (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 3 years ago | (#36738396)

... you look/smell like shit!

Two words: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738418)

Biological Dropships.

I'm not the only one who thinks that's awesome, right?

Re:Two words: (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36739068)

starship poopers?

(best I have, sorry)

You've not enough Overlords! (1)

DEmmons (1538383) | about 3 years ago | (#36742008)

the first thing i thought of was using Zerg Overlords for transport. I used to use mind control a lot in Broodwar and always felt like I shouldn't use the Overlords to transport Protoss troops, because ew.

Bird Discovered (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738502)

...that fails to properly digest snails.

Leucochloridium paradoxum? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738558)

Perhaps this would explain the evolution of Leucochloridium paradoxum, the flatworm that turns snails into zombies for the purpose of being eaten by birds and hence transport.

Re:Leucochloridium paradoxum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36747278)

"leucochloridium paradoxum"

Stop typing random letters and in an attempt to sound smart.

I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | about 3 years ago | (#36738568)

... since I very well could be eating out of a bird's ass.

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (2)

Bobb Sledd (307434) | about 3 years ago | (#36738614)

uhm... say! Do you eat eggs?

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | about 3 years ago | (#36738728)

I think the bird has a different opening for the eggs. Probably similar to the way mammals give birth, only not fully developed.
(IOW, you weren't shitted out, more like pissed, but even THAT isn't totally correct).

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (4, Informative)

perdurablehubris (930259) | about 3 years ago | (#36738980)

Birds contain only one exit orifice known as a Cloaca [wikipedia.org] . Everything that exits a bird, exits through this one opening.

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 3 years ago | (#36739796)

Not everything - birds can vomit, after all.

There's only one hole... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36739084)

They have only one hole, called the "Cloaca".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloaca

However, when they lay an egg, they turn it inside out. Think bird goatse...

http://www.afn.org/~poultry/egghen.htm

Re:There's only one hole... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36741678)

no way am i clicking that second link. goatse is horrific enough and he/it's the same species

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | about 3 years ago | (#36738754)

Except that eggs don't come from a bird's ass.

But your mom could have been an exception....

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36745370)

Actually, they do. Not from its intestine, mind you, but from its cloaca, which is the only hole he has on that side (lest he was pierced).

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36868320)

Except that they DO. It's called a cloaca, and it's an ass AND a pussy. Among others. (Just like you then. ;))

What's next? You tell me how you're not that cruel to kill an animal to eat meat, because you go to the supermarket to get meat, where no animal is harmed? (Seriously, there are people who say such things!)

Americans... (Yeah, mostly those. ;)

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | about 3 years ago | (#36738856)

I could say I'm vegan, but that would be a cheap lie, and I'm not sanctimonious enough to be one.

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 3 years ago | (#36739072)

And no one would buy it anyway, escargot being an animal product.

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | about 3 years ago | (#36740198)

And when did I say I ever did eat escargot? I could have simply made a redundant statement if I was a vegan, which I'm not. I haven't tried escargot in actuality, and probably never will, bird's ass/cloaca/orifice or not.

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | about 3 years ago | (#36739268)

I am a peschitarian. I only eat food that looks like Joe Peschi. I eat a lot of ham.

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36741450)

looooooooooool.

-pauses for though-

Which stores cater for your particular dietary regime?

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about 3 years ago | (#36740630)

Fool! I say we bioengineer escargots to do this.

1. Eat
2. Poop
3. Wash
4. Profit!

Re:I won't be eating escargot now... (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 3 years ago | (#36741656)

,,,and you don't want to know where Toothpaste comes from!

What about the shell? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 3 years ago | (#36738652)

Does the shell survive? Do those poor birds have to pass a shell? Doesn't it break? Does that injure the bird?

So many questions, if only I hadn't taken a solemn vow to never RTFA.

Splendid. (1)

arisvega (1414195) | about 3 years ago | (#36738676)

And with that mental image, I am off to prepare some dinner.

Re:Splendid. (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 3 years ago | (#36742314)

Escargot?

Do the birds get anything out of it? (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | about 3 years ago | (#36738760)

Is this a kind of symbiotic relationship?
Do the birds get any nutrition / energy from it?

Yes... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738846)

They get to digest 85% of the snails.

Snail farmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738910)

Whether intended or not, the birds spread "re-seed" their home area with more snails, spreading the snails and providing a potentially larger area for hunting for themselves and their offspring.

This escargot tastes like crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36738810)

This escargot tastes like crap!

A new delicacy (1)

bkmoore (1910118) | about 3 years ago | (#36738908)

This could be to escargot what Kopi Luwak [wikipedia.org] is to coffee.

15% at re-try? (1)

magarity (164372) | about 3 years ago | (#36738922)

Was there something about that particular 15% of the snails? I mean, if those 15% tried the ride again, would all of them make it or is it just something about the way these birds eat snails that allow 15% unharmed through each time?

Re:15% at re-try? (1)

CapnStank (1283176) | about 3 years ago | (#36739504)

You'd assume that 15% have an immunity based off of the title "Snail Discovered...."

Re:15% at re-try? (1)

imunfair (877689) | about 3 years ago | (#36740256)

At an average of 2.5mm the micro snails fared much better than larger species in previous studies whose shells were severely damaged when eaten by birds.

I suspect being uncrushed is the criteria for survival. So no, only 2.25% would remain out of the original group if you had them redigest the 15% survivors.

Re:15% at re-try? (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | about 3 years ago | (#36745000)

"Criteria" is plural. You want the singular, "criterion". I really must be the only person who understands this.

Re:15% at re-try? (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | about 3 years ago | (#36745368)

Or the only person who cares

Re:15% at re-try? (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | about 3 years ago | (#36751408)

You must be a carnie.

Re:15% at re-try? (1)

imunfair (877689) | about 3 years ago | (#36751796)

Thanks, I don't think I've ever heard the singular used properly for that word. I wasn't even aware that it existed, and I'm fairly literate.

Reedit redux (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 3 years ago | (#36739116)

This was FPd on Reddit yesterday. I have noticed a lot of recycled reddshit on here lately.

Re:Reedit redux (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | about 3 years ago | (#36739322)

I have been reading more reddit than /. lately, and I missed that one.

I think the signal:noise here is a bit higher than reddit (scary, I know!) Or it could be that there is just less signal here to pick through. This place is a ghost town!

Back in the day, this story would have like 500 comments by now. As of now, this story has 37 comments.

Re:Reedit redux (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 3 years ago | (#36745150)

Yeah I hope that Rob Malda and Taco sold their stakes, or else they will probably have to get real jobs again.

[Shell joke here- (1)

SethThresher (1958152) | about 3 years ago | (#36739140)

After reading report, Taco Bell officials claim to be "unimpressed" with this discovery.

Reminds me... (1)

TaleSpinner (96034) | about 3 years ago | (#36739152)

...of the old joke about the worm looking out the bird's ass as they fly high in the sky...

"You wouldn't shit me, would ya?"

I guess you could say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36739410)

I guess you could say that sometimes spitting is better than swallowing.

take that evilutianismian's (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | about 3 years ago | (#36739610)

truely the LORD work's in mistyrious way's

I see where this is going (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 years ago | (#36739634)

In 100,000 years, they'll stop passing through the birds altogether and start latching onto the stomach lining to leech nutrients from the host.

In 200,000 years, they'll develop an acid-based circulatory system analogous to the host's stomach.

In 500,000 years, they'll develop exoskeletons to better locate new hosts.

In 1 MILLION years, they'll grow too large to subsist on stomach linings. Then, they'll start bursting out of the host's chest cavity. I think we'd better nip this on in the bud.

I got a nasty feeling about this... (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | about 3 years ago | (#36739764)

Next paid upgrade for Angry Birds will include the power-up that will let your bird to crap snails on the unsuspecting pigs.

You know you're a nerd if... (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 3 years ago | (#36739848)

I'd take it over flying standby on a puddle jumper.

...makes you immediately think of Stargate Atlantis. Apparently Dictionary.com says it's "a light plane, especially one traveling only short distances or making many stops." Huh, never heard that one before.

The snail doesn't survive digestion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36739852)

The snail doesn't survive digestion, it resists being digested!

Do they survive the fall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36739874)

They survive being digested, but what about the fall to the ground afterward?

Important Note (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36740670)

I confess I haven't read it. But...all these people asking questions...

The summary says "15% survive". Not "15% survive unscathed."

To all the people wondering about what's special about the remaining 15%... well...

I remind you--you could live if I tore your arm off seared the arteries shut.

For those 15% coming out a bird's ass alive--I imagine they aren't exactly in great shape.

They're made of armor and rubber seals. (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#36741712)

Not surprising a snail can survive a few hours in a bird's gut.

The question is how can a bird survive passing a snail through its gut.

I thought I had it bad (1)

papasui (567265) | about 3 years ago | (#36741770)

But man that's a shitty life.

Digestion? (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | about 3 years ago | (#36741778)

Since they came through alive, I'd say they survived ingestion, not digestion.

Re:Digestion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36742978)

It isn't just the ingestion though. And I think the title suggests that the snails always survive. How about:
Snail discovered that sometimes survives being passed by birds.

poor snail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36741810)

it must feel like shit after all that.

Obesity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36742090)

Now if we can only have the same thing happen with McDonalds the obesity crises will be averted.

Re:Obesity (1)

box4831 (1126771) | about 3 years ago | (#36747766)

I beg to differ...

"hmm this quarter pounder came back out about the same, I suppose it's ok to give it pass #2" <chomp>

Wel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36743232)

This means that those birds aren't nearly angry enough.

Eels Are Faster... (3, Interesting)

IonOtter (629215) | about 3 years ago | (#36743906)

When my dad was in his teens, WAY back when, he was fishing for eels out on the ice of Sag Harbor bay.

You cut a hole in the ice and jabbed the eel spear into the mud on the bottom. The eels would get caught between the tines, and you'd pull up the pole and let the eel squirm out into the bucket. Sometimes, you'd get one that was much too small, and you just shake it off on the ice near the hole.

Well, a seagull came down and grabbed the eel before it could escape back under the ice. The bird gobbled it down, but it took a few tries. The bird stood there, watching and waiting for any more. A few minutes later, the bird started doing a funny kind of dance, and the previously devoured eel slid right out the back of the bird.

Still alive, highly pissed off and wriggling like crazy to get back in the water.

The seagull just turned around, grabbed it and swallowed it down again.

It stayed in that time.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>