Rapid passage for Mistletoe seeds

To: bird <>
Subject: Rapid passage for Mistletoe seeds
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2004 21:43:40 +1000
Quoting again from  "Birds of the High Country" edited by H.J. Frith, (Reed,

 At page 381:

        "The muscular stomach or gizzard present in most birds has, in the
Mistletoe-bird, practically disappeared and the whole digestive system has
become an even duct enabling the large numbers of mistletoe-berries to pass
quickly through the bird.  Experiments have shown that mistletoe berries may
be consumed and the seeds voided by a Mistletoe-bird within twenty-five
minutes.  The seeds of mistletoe berries when voided are not harmed and are
very sticky.  If lodged on the branch of a suitable tree they remain there
and usually germinate."

"Within twenty-five minutes"?  Sounds like chronic diarrhoea.

And why does the sticky seed stick to the branch rather than the feather
fringed cloaca of the bird?  Dean?  Carol?  Anyone?

[You are sure which end of the bird you saw being wiped on the branch,
Carol? :-)   Yes, I see you are.   Who can blame the bird for not


PS.  Thinking in terms of relative size - seed and bird - I reckon that an
equivalent for humans would be mango seeds.  Not swallowing is much the

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