Nature’s waste management crews
A review of sanitation habits in the animal kingdom includes research by Elizabeth Gow, a postdoctoral fellow at UBC and author of a new report on the habits of the northern flicker, a type of woodpecker.
Among these woodpeckers, the father spends more time incubating the eggs and feeding the young than do the mothers. The males are also more zealous at cleaning up waste in the nest, which “takes away microbes, removes smells that might alert predators, and makes the whole nest much cleaner,” Gow said.
Here is a link to The New York Times article.
For more on UBC Postdoc Elizabeth Gow and her research.