Urban sparrows have found a new use for cigarette butts


06/12/2012

Cigarette butts pollute the streets and remain intractable environmental problem in many cities. But for birds living in Mexico City is not garbage, and effective means of protecting nests from parasites, scientists report.

The local sparrows and finches collected cigarette butts, cellulose filters which are soft bedding for the chicks, and nicotine - protection against ticks, scientists believe.

A research team led by Constantino Macias Garcia (Constantino Macias Garcia) of the National Autonomous University of checked 57 nests and found that the number of mites inhabiting them depended on the number of cigarette butts - the more cigarette butts, the less parasites.

In passerine nests were about 8 butts and more in each, while each slot reels were about 10 cigarette butts.

This behavior of birds is an intriguing example of adapting to the urban environment, as stated in the study, which appears this week in the journal Biology Letters.

In the wild, some birds build their nests, using a strong-smelling plant, which, according to the assumptions of scientists also have antiparasitic properties or enhance the immune system of babies.

Nicotine in tobacco is also used in the production of chemicals for the control of insect pests, which are widely used in agriculture, but also to protect poultry from parasites.

Original in (SURVEY) Physorg.com Translation: M. Potter


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