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Are Stand-Up Comics Disguised as Bird-Brained Scientists?

"A forest bird never wants a cage."
- Henrik Ibsen

Sometimes, reading and understand scientific abstracts is a skill reserved for only well-practiced researchers and not for members of the lay public.

The title of an abstract to a study appearing in the February issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology (J Exp Biol. 2011 Feb 15;214:613-8) had me laughing aloud, anxious to read more:

"Food preferences of Knysna and purple-crested turacos fed varying concentrations of equicaloric and equimolar artificial fruit."

The first sentence of the abstract does not disappoint:

"The effects that different fruit sugar types and concentrations have on food preferences of avian frugivores have been relatively poorly studied."

Poorly studied? Gee, why wouldn't everybody want to know how different fruits affect future food choices of purple birds of paradise? I often spend countless sleepless hours contemplating this riddle of the universe before drifting off to sleep. OK, moving on...

So what was the design of the scientist's experiment? The abstract reveals:

"Artificial fruits containing 6.6, 12.4 or 22% sucrose or glucose, and artificial fruits containing 0.42, 0.83 or 1.66 mol l(-1) sucrose or glucose, were used to determine sugar preferences."

Artificial fruits?

OK, and what did humankind learn from this important avian study?

The scientists write:

"Knysna turacos preferred the sucrose to the glucose equicaloric artificial fruit diet at low concentrations whereas purple-crested turacos showed no preference for either diet."

I will now be able to sleep better, relieved that tax dollars are being used for such important work. So far as this study is concerned, it's for the birds!

So, if you live in America, where can you see Birds of Paradise?

In zoos, of course, wonderfully captivating zoos which treat animals with dignity, right?

Wrong! Not in San Diego's zoo.

Taryn Donovan, DVM, DACVP (Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists) performs animal research on various animal species, from birds and frogs, to horses and polar bears at New York City's American Medical Center of New York (AMCNY).

AMCNY pretends to care for animals while soliciting donations from the public, then performs animal research. Trails left in scientific journals do not lie. In 2008. Tary Donovan performed research on Birds of Paradise at the San Diego zoo. Dr. Donovan's contact information:

http://www.amcny.org/about-amc/veterinarians-specialists/taryn-donovan-dvm-dacvp

How do birds react when they are used as subjects for scientific studies? See:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjj32CavzU0

There are some bird/man encounters with happy endings. Follow the 'Lucky the Lorikeet' link at: http://www.avianwelfare.org

"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
- Emily Dickinson

Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk.com
http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealNotmilk

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