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The scoop on bird poop: Evolving diversity of microbial life in bird guts


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Gut bacteria are known to have a central role both in human and in animal health.  Animals acquire different bacteria as they age but how the microbial communities in the bodies of wild animals change over time is not well understood.  Scientists have examined the gastrointestinal bacteria of chick and adult black-legged kittiwakes. Surprisingly, the microbial assemblages of chicks and adults generally differ greatly, with only a few types of bacteria in common.k0MAdBmzEdI

 

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Gut bacteria are known to have a central role both in human and in animal health. Animals acquire different bacteria as they age but how the microbial communities in the bodies of wild animals change over time is not well understood. Wouter van Dongen and colleagues at the Vetmeduni Vienna have examined the gastrointestinal bacteria of chick and adult black-legged kittiwakes. Surprisingly, the microbial assemblages of chicks and adults generally differ greatly, with only a few types of bacteria in common. The findings have recently been published in the journal BMC Ecology.

 

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