Can Stick Insects Survive Munching of Birds?

In the food chain, a higher-level organism feeds on a lower-level organism. This rule explains how birds feed on insects and it marks the end of the life cycle of the insect. However, in some cases, it does not happen that simply. In fact, a type of insect once eaten up by birds may not be completely dead. Even the eggs of this insect are seen to survive in the bird gut. The eggs get excreted along with the bird feces and this process serves as a method of dispersal for this particular species. A team of Japanese researchers have tested this phenomenon with stick insects and have concluded that the eggs of stick insects survive even in bird guts. The female insects have their stomachs filled with unfertilized eggs. After being eaten by the birds, these unfertilized eggs are released through the gut within the feces. Following the release through the feces, the sperms are released from the insect. These sperms, in turn, fertilize the eggs. Therefore, just like plants disperse the seeds, similarly insect species can get dispersed to far across distances.


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