Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anting, a tactic in birds!

I have seen birds fall down to the ground, stretch out their wings and fight with each other for territorial claims. Yet there are some birds that do this wing stretching solitary. It is not their sun-bathing or an act to catch their prey. But it is a tactic called as Anting.

Birds such as Black Drongo, Myna, warbler and Blue Jay practice it. They go near a group of ants, pick an ant and crush it; then rub the juice under their wings and body. They do this for clearing their feathers of parasites like mites and fungi. On crushing the ant a chemical called 'Formic Acid' is released that kills the parasites! Now Bee-keepers use formic acid to kill mites infesting honey bees. Note also that this formic acid is a related compound of Formaldehyde (or Formalin). Formalin is being used in hospitals by humans, for sterilizing operation theaters before conducting any Surgery in them!
This anting is a wonder tactic. We are late in using it; but the Nature uses it already for ages to protect the birds!

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h e m a n t h said...

Didn't know this before. Very interesting!
From a different perspective, it can also be said that the birds have been using this technique since ages, but only after long did the humans follow them!


Cosmos said...

We, humans discover or copy Nature. But Nature invents all and uses for all of us!

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