Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My understanding, that may be wrong, is that cellulose/fibre has little nutritional value to many animals because it's hard to break down thus making consumption inefficient. However, Ruminating mammals, other mammals such as black bears, and many insects such as grasshoppers digest grasses.

Are there any birds with the gut flora to break down fibre? Or even some that eat grass but digest it in another way?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The hoatzin has a digestive system that makes use of bacterial fermentation. Many other birds also consume grass, e.g. ostriches, ducks and geese.

There's also a large body of literature on how birds can digest cellulose.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 It could also be noted that the fact that Canada Geese eat grass is one of the reasons that they are thriving (i.e., a nuisance) in the human constructed suburban environment of lawns and ponds. –  KennyPeanuts Feb 18 '13 at 14:39
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.