Rainbow Lorikeets Dietary Habits

Subject: Rainbow Lorikeets Dietary Habits
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 17:58:08 +1100
Foliovorous birds are scarce because leaves aren't easy to digest.
Hoatzins have an adaption somewhat similar to ruminant mammals where
microbial symbionts in the gut do the digestion for them allowing them to
eat a diet almost entirely of leaves.  A small number of other species
(e.g. plantcutters) are also known to have leaf-dominated diets, but
I'm not sure its known how they accomplish digestion - and some
other species seem to have diets with a singinificant fraction of leaves  

So you'd suspect  individual lorikeets wouldn't eat many apricot leaves
and it'd take a lot lorikeets to defoliate a tree, unless they remove
the leaves without eating them or there is assistance from more-adapted
foliovores like brushtail possums.


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