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Re: Ceratonykus braincase described



Dr Ronald Orenstein <ron.orenstein@rogers.com> wrote:

> With respect to myrmecophagous birds, there are certainly birds that eat ants 
> as a major part of their diet. I beleive this is true of flickers (Colaptes) 
> and it is certainly true of Australian treecreepers
> (Climacteridae) which I studied (including stomach content analyses) for my 
> doctoral thesis - these birds are certainly not flightless, though most of 
> their flights are from high on one tree to lower (or to
> the ground) on the next. I have no data on their metabolic rates.



Thanks Ron.  Yep, the Northern Flicker (_Colaptes auratus_) was found
to include nearly 90% of ants (Formicidae) in its diet - the rest was
mostly spiders and scale insects (Coccidae) (Otvos & Stark, 1985).
I'll defer to you for the Climacteridae data.   :-)


I should have specified *large* myrmecophagous birds (i.e., larger
than 1 kg).  Small mammals (under 1 kg) that specialize in eating ants
or termites can have comparatively high body temperatures and high
basal rates of metabolism (McNab, 1984) - such as those species of
elephant shrew (Macroscelidea) in which the diet is mostly made up of
termites.




Cheers

Tim