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Thread: Cigarette butts may help babies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Cigarette butts may help babies

    Baby birds that is...

    Scientific American blog Culturing Science

    The sight of cigarette butts delicately woven into birdsí nests sparks an array of reactions, from relief that birds are adapting to urban environments to disgust at the display of human disregard for wildlife. But a new study suggests that some birds may benefit from nesting with cigarette butts. The nicotine lingering in filters may serve as an insecticide, driving parasites away from the nests and the baby birds living within.
    In the second experiment, the researchers collected 28 house sparrow (Passer domesticus) nests and 29 house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) nests from Mexico City immediately after the chicks flew out for good. Disassembling the nests in the lab, they then looked for a relationship between the weight of smoked filter fluff and the number of parasites living in the nest. They found that the more butt fluff there was in the nest, the fewer parasites.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    3,106
    Fascinating tidbit.

    One welcomes positive news of any kind these days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    7,157
    Just in case anyone gets the wrong idea from the title I'll mention that eating a single cigarette can kill a baby. Human infants are very sensitive to nicotine. A bummer I know, but an important message to get out there as many people don't seem to be aware of the danger.

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