Re: [CH] Hot Birdseed

=Mark (
Fri, 20 Mar 1998 21:07:33 -0500

At 05:36 PM 3/20/98 -0800, Suz wrote:
>I saw some birdfood that was supposed to be squirrel-free because it
>contained peppers.  Said it was 4 times hotter than peppers, wash hands
>after touching, etc., the usual disclaimers.
>My question:  Does this mean that birds have tastebuds and squirrels do not?

Birds do not seem to be affected by capsaicin.  It is believed that chiles
are spread by seeds ingested by birds, whose digestive process does not
damage the seeds, which are deposited with a convenient blob of fertilizer.
 Mammals, whose digestion destroys the seeds are quite sensitive to
capsaicin.  Of course a distinct subset of humans have developed a taste
for chiles, but they do not seem to pose a threat to chile peppers survival...


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