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How bird vomit helps us understand history

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Sounds disgusting, doesn't it? How in the world can bird vomit help us learn about the past history or ecology of an area? What can be found in a regurgitated pellet that may provide clues? The Brain Scoop explains. 

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Learn more about owl pellets at this link. Interested in a job being an owl vomit collector? This might change your mind: Owl Vomit Collector. Watch as a Barred Owl Chick Regurgitates Pellets! Gross, but fascinating at the same time, isn't it? Owl Pellets: Down the Hatch and Back Again is also an informative read on this topic!

Owls are not the only birds that regurgitate undigested materials. Many birds of prey regurgitate them too. NOAA's Marine Debris Blog: What Can Bird Barf Teach Us About Marine Debris? discusses the albatross and the bolus it regurgitates. What is the link between debris plastic and a regurgitated pellet? How can a small island or an atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean be covered with plastic? Every bird on this island eats plastic might answer that question for you.

Why might seabirds be eating plastic? This recent discovery might provide the answer. Why do seabirds eat plastic? What can you do to help? First, think about all the plastic in your life and how you might change that! This might just provide some ideas: Plastic Pollution Coalition - OPEN YOUR EYES - Overview Narrated by Jeff Bridges (2016).

Here's a list of TED Ed lessons on this topic.  Take some time to learn more!

The Complicated Journey of Marine Plastic Pollution
The seas of plastic - Captain Charles Moore
What really happens to the plastic you throw away - Emma Bryce
The nurdles’ quest for ocean domination - Kim Preshoff

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