Birds evolved to drink blood to survive

Limited food resources cause them to change to adapt to the harsh environment.

Birds evolved to drink blood to survive-1

The Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) are famous for their rich ecosystems with exotic plants and animals. The vampire sparrow is a native species here. They are said by scientists to have “evolved” to adapt to the environment. Photo: Bernard Gallay.

Birds evolved to drink blood to survive-2
Evolution is not about transforming into another species. This term refers to the fact that in addition to eating seeds and larvae, this bird also sucks the blood of larger birds with its sharp beak. According to studies, sucking blood helps increase the survival of this bird. Photo: Wired.

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The blood-drinking behavior is indeed unusual for sparrows. The Smithsonian scientific journal reported that this species began to live on Darwin Island and Wolf Island (both in the Galapagos Islands) 500,000 years ago. Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, visited the islands in 1835. He observed the differences between the diets of the island’s sparrows and realized that the size of the sparrow’s beak would vary based on the differences in the diet of the sparrows. available food sources. Photo: NHM.

Birds evolved to drink blood to survive-4
Darwin Island and Wolf Island are separate from the rest of the archipelago. Conditions are particularly harsh and food is scarce, which can even disappear in the dry season. Vampire sparrows live on the island with some seabirds, red-footed madbirds… Photo: Galapagos Insiders.

Birds evolved to drink blood to survive-5

They feed on parasites that live on the skin and feathers of these large birds. Over time, they began to develop a strange hobby of sucking colors while catching parasites. From there, vampire sparrows use their sharp beaks to access blood by pecking on the wings of large birds. The fact that sparrows often help large birds “clean up” parasites may have made them immune to bloodsucking. Photo: Animal Spots.

Birds evolved to drink blood to survive-6
Researchers Kiyoko Gotanda, Daniel Baldassarre and Jaime Chavez say that drinking blood for survival is often done only when other food sources such as seeds and insects are scarce. The blood contains few essential nutrients and too much salt and iron. However, vampire sparrows possess gut bacteria that digest these two substances. Therefore, they are ready to use this ” food ” source when needed. Photo: Tropilobab.

Birds evolved to drink blood for survival-7

In addition, vampire sparrows also have the habit of stealing and eating other species’ eggs. They push eggs against rocks with their feet and use their beaks as a pillar until the eggs break. This species also eats bird and fish droppings left over from other predators. Photo: Picuki.

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