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Videos / Life On Earth / Pitohui - Only Known Poisonous Bird







Pitohui - Only Known Poisonous Bird

Pitohui - Only Known Poisonous Bird
Pitohuis are a genus of birds endemic to New Guinea, and have the unique distinction of being poisonous. The skin and feathers contain powerful neurotoxic alkaloids of the batrachotoxin group (also found in Dart Frogs).


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Posted by nova on April 24, 2011
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Comments

Posted by nova on April 24, 2011 at 6:57 pm
It is believed that these birds gain their toxicity through the consumption of a toxic beetle.
Posted by Tibor on May 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm
The Hooded Pitohui is one of a small number of birds known to be poisonous. In fact, The Guiness Book of World Records says that the Hooded Pitohui is the "Most Poisonous Bird". The bird, native to Papua New Guinea, was discovered in 1990, and has puzzled scientists ever since. I was curious about the beetle, nova. More research required for that ; )
Posted by Tibor on May 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm
Melyrid beetles (Choresine): A putative source for the batrachotoxin alkaloids found in poison-dart frogs and toxic passerine birds. See link below:
http://www.pnas.org/content/101/45/15857.full
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