Forums

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages 
Fasting for Lent Forces Hyenas to Change Diet

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fortean Times Message Board Forum Index -> New Science
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ramonmercadoOffline
Psycho Punk
Joined: 19 Aug 2003
Total posts: 21094
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 05-04-2012 20:49    Post subject: Fasting for Lent Forces Hyenas to Change Diet Reply with quote

Maybe this should be in religion. Hope the hyenas get their eggs on Sunday.

Quote:
Fasting for Lent Forces Hyenas to Change Diet
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405075232.htm

ScienceDaily (Apr. 5, 2012) — Many Christians give up certain foods for Lent, however ecologists have discovered these changes in human diet have a dramatic impact on the diet of wild animals. In Ethiopia, members of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church stop eating meat and dairy products during a 55-day fast before Easter. As a result, spotted hyenas too change their eating habits -- from scavenging waste from butchers and households to hunting -- new research in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Animal Ecology has found.

Spotted hyenas are supremely adaptable mammals, capable both of adapting to habitats with dense human populations and to eating whatever food is available. While they are efficient hunters, they are also opportunistic scavengers, eating everything from birds, mammals, fish and reptiles to garbage, cooked porridge and dung. And they have digestive systems to match, says Gidey Yirga from Mekelle University.

"Hyenas can eat almost any organic matter, even putrid carrion and anthrax-infected carcasses. They are capable of eating and digesting all parts of their prey except hair and hooves. Bones are digested so completely that only the inorganic components are excreted in the hyena's droppings," he explains.

Working at three sites around Mekelle in northern Ethiopia, Yirga collected all hyena droppings from each 1 hectare site on three occasions on the first and last days of the 55-day Abye Tsome (Lent) fast, and then again 55 days after the fast ended -- a total of 553 droppings.

To find out what the hyenas had been eating before, during and after Lent, he compared hairs found in the hyenas' droppings with a reference collection of hair from other animals found in the region.

The results showed that when humans stop buying, eating and discarding animal products the hyenas' eating habits change significantly: before Lent, 14.8% of hyena droppings contained donkey hairs, during Lent this increased to 33.1%, falling again to 22.2% once the fast was over.
According to Yirga: "Our study shows a remarkable change in the hyenas' diet -- we found that hyenas around Mekelle mainly scavenge waste from butchers and households but during fasting donkeys provided an alternative food source."

By providing this unique insight into the effect of changes in human diet on local hyenas, the results illustrate that hyenas are highly adaptable and opportunistic scavengers and hunters. They also have implications for those managing the conflict that can arise when large carnivores use anthropogenic food sources.

"Understanding details of the foraging behaviour of carnivores in an anthropogenic environment can help reveal specific causes of conflict, leading to better strategies for reducing availability of anthropogenic food and preventing conflict," Yirga concludes.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by British Ecological Society (BES), via AlphaGalileo.
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

Gidey Yirga, Hans H. De Iongh, Herwig Leirs, Kindeya Gebrihiwot, Jozef Deckers, Hans Bauer. Adaptability of large carnivores to changing anthropogenic food sources: diet change of spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) during Christian fasting period in northern Ethiopia. Journal of Animal Ecology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.01977.x
Back to top
View user's profile 
SHAYBARSABEOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 05 May 2009
Total posts: 1538
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 06-04-2012 15:33    Post subject: Re: Fasting for Lent Forces Hyenas to Change Diet Reply with quote

ramonmercado wrote:
Bones are digested so completely that only the inorganic components are excreted in the hyena's droppings," he explains.



And they are in the family feliformia--just like your house cat.

Shiver.
Back to top
View user's profile 
ramonmercadoOffline
Psycho Punk
Joined: 19 Aug 2003
Total posts: 21094
Location: Dublin
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 06-04-2012 18:00    Post subject: Re: Fasting for Lent Forces Hyenas to Change Diet Reply with quote

SHAYBARSABE wrote:
ramonmercado wrote:
Bones are digested so completely that only the inorganic components are excreted in the hyena's droppings," he explains.



And they are in the family feliformia--just like your house cat.

Shiver.


I know, most people think hyenas are dogs.
Back to top
View user's profile 
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fortean Times Message Board Forum Index -> New Science All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group