Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting Stoned In The Animal World

Herbivorous birds supplement their high-fiber diets of nuts, seeds and fruit by swallowing grit, known in scientific terms as gastroliths, or stomach stones. This, it is believed, takes the place of certain strong muscles and bones, such as those associated with the jaw, which help to pulverize and process food.
Domestic fowl, crocodiles, alligators, seals and sea lions also are into gastroliths to help in food grinding, and so were dinosaurs. The remains of a ginormous
Dolichorhynchops plesiosaur, a marine reptile, recently was unearthed in southern Utah. In its gut were 289 stones.

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