Thursday, December 2, 2010
"POO", does a body good!
Yes, that is a large cow patty this very beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has her proboscis dipped into.While this looks very disgusting and is probably something you would never think of doing yourself, this butterfly benefits from it greatly. We as humans can drive to our local pharmacy or all-night super store and buy the vitamins and minerals we need. These lovely creatures obviously have no such luxury, so they have to find them where they may. Scat is loaded with minerals and other nutrients that not only this butterfly relishes, but so do many other insects. Just take a walk, anywhere there is sure to be poop, and each pile will look like an all-night diner after the bars let out...there won't be an empty seat available. Everything from Flies, Butterflies, and Beetles will all be sharing this buffet. I've even seen grasshoppers partake of scat. Mammals rarely digest all their food, and the tasty bits that remain are recycled through the animals body in the form of scat. Sometimes it is very easy to see what the animal had been feeding on, you might find hair, or even bones. Other times you might find berries or corn. All of these leftovers is what the insects are after....there may be as much as 50% of the energy left in this waste product from what was originally consumed.
Mother Nature provides, and sees to it that nothing goes to waste.....so try not to be too grossed out, think of it as a clean-up crew....they consume what we find distasteful or smelly and dispose of it for us, like miniature garbage collectors.