No to ja mam kandydata na tegorocznego IgNobla. Kto by pomyslal, ze wyrzucanie kiepow na ulice moze wplywac na dostosowanie ptakow? Chyba dla wyzszej idei zaczne znow palic.
Incorporation of cigarette butts into nests reduces nest ectoparasite load in urban birds: new ingredients for an old recipe?
Birds are known to respond to nest-dwelling parasites by altering behaviours.
Some bird species, for example, bring fresh plants to the nest,
which contain volatile compounds that repel parasites. There is evidence
that some birds living in cities incorporate cigarette butts into their nests,
but the effect (if any) of this behaviour remains unclear. Butts from
smoked cigarettes retain substantial amounts of nicotine and other compounds
that may also act as arthropod repellents. We provide the first
evidence that smoked cigarette butts may function as a parasite repellent
in urban bird nests. The amount of cellulose acetate from butts in nests of
two widely distributed urban birds was negatively associated with the
number of nest-dwelling parasites. Moreover, when parasites were attracted
to heat traps containing smoked or non-smoked cigarette butts, fewer parasites
reached the former, presumably due to the presence of nicotine.
Because urbanization changes the abundance and type of resources upon
which birds depend, including nesting materials and plants involved in
self-medication, our results are consistent with the view that urbanization
imposes new challenges on birds that are dealt with using adaptations