More than meets the Eye: Do Birds Avoid Toxic Plants

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By Colleen Nell and Maanav Kamath


Some of the most interesting interactions between organisms in nature, are those regulated by chemical signals. One of these interactions that is of particular interest to us exists between plants, insects that feed on them, and the birds that predate on these insects.

As part of our last project on the OTS Tropical Biology course, Colleen Nell and I (Maanav) investigated some of the ways in which plants might be influencing the feeding behaviour of insect- eating birds.

Our short film explains the methods we used , and the results we found.

 

Here are a couple of pictures of our clay model caterpillars that were attacked. You can clearly see the impressions made by the beaks and claws of the various birds that attacked them!

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