June 8, 2023

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Poisonous birds are armed with one of the most powerful neurotoxins in the world

Two species from New Guinea are the first venomous birds identified in more than 20 years.

Two new types of Poisonous birds They were spotted during an expedition in the rainforests of New Guinea. Scientists discovered this species during a recent expedition to the area where they collected samples of venomous birds that had accumulated enough neurotoxin in their feathers to induce death. rupture from the eyes In men, “as if you were cutting an onion.” It includes the latest species to join the list of poisonous birds Guardian whistle (Pachycephala schlegelii) fBell bird Red nap (Aleadryas rufinucha). These are very common birds in this part of the world but have only now been discovered to be venomous. Birds armed with patrachotoxin, a term derived from the Greek for frog (patrakos). As one of the most powerful neurotoxins known to science, it is named after the venomous frogs in which it was first discovered, but apparently it is found in non-amphibious species as well. It is believed that birds obtain the poison by eating it poisonous food She then turns it into a poison that blends into their tissues. The guardian whistle was known to science, but only now it has become clear how harmless its plumage is. In fact, high concentrations of batrachotoxin can be fatal to humans as it leads to violent convulsions and eventually leads to death by causing blockage of sodium channels in skeletal muscles. There is enough toxin on the skin of poison dart frogs to experience these severe symptoms, but the birds’ feathers come in smaller doses.

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Image credit: isidoreajar via iNaturalist, CC BY-NC 4.0

However, it may still be sufficient to act as a defense mechanism, although the exact purpose of its use is not known with certainty. According to the locals, he ate poultry meat burns like pepper, And picking it up isn’t fun either. This may indicate that the birds have adapted to become unattractive to predators, but more research is needed to confirm this. With more venomous bird species to learn from, researchers need to do more work to figure out how and why they use their own Neurotoxins. “Knud [J√łnsson del Museo di storia naturale della Danimarca] I thought I was sad and having a bad time on the trip when they found me with a runny nose and tears in my eyessaid Casson Budawata, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen. “In fact, I was sitting there sampling the feathers of a Pitohui, one of the most poisonous birds on the planet.. It’s the up close and personal things that really hurtBodawata noted. “Taking the birds off the net doesn’t hurt as much, but when samples have to be taken in a confined environment, it’s easy to feel something in the eye and nose. It’s a bit like slicing an onion. “