Monthly Archives: July 2014

More Than Meets The Eye

On a recent wilderness hike, my wife and I were approaching a waterfall when we heard the unmistakeable sound of baby birds begging to be fed. The sound stopped us in our tracks, and broad, knowing smiles appeared on our faces as we looked at one another. We hurried down to the riverbank where we found exactly what we expected. A small, unassuming, gray songbird was standing on a mossy rock near the waterfall.

American Dipper in habitat

A small, gray songbird was standing on a mossy rock next to the waterfall.

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Something To Chew On

The next time you see a cute little bunny munching on some nice, leafy greens consider this- in a few hours the rabbit will be pooping out those greens only to eat them again. You see, rabbits practice coprophagia, meaning they ingest their own feces.

OK, so technically what the rabbits are ingesting are called “cecotropes”, and they are not exactly the same as feces. They are moist masses of partially digested food that just happen to come out of the same orifice as feces. The rabbits are able to absorb much more nutrition from the “food” as it makes its second trip through their digestive system. It’s really an amazing adaptation… one that I’m thankful I do not share.

Eastern Cottontail Eating So the next time you have a child or adult that is refusing to eat their vegetables, just tell them to look at the bright side. At least they’ll only have to eat them once.