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Meat-eating 'vulture bees' sport acidic guts

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:36 pm

A little-known species of tropical bee has evolved an extra tooth for biting flesh and a gut that more closely resembles that of vultures rather than other bees.

Typically, bees don't eat meat. However, a species of stingless bee in the tropics has evolved the ability to do so, presumably due to intense competition for nectar.

"These are the only bees in the world that have evolved to use food sources not produced by plants, which is a pretty remarkable change in dietary habits," said UC Riverside entomologist Doug Yanega.


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Post by Dragon Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:37 pm

Meat-eating 'vulture bees' sport acidic guts When-bees-get-a-taste
Credit: Quinn McFrederick/UCR

Raw chicken baits attracting vulture bees in Costa Rica.

In addition, though they feed on meat, their honey is reportedly still sweet and edible.


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Post by Dragon Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:41 pm



Vulture bees, also known as carrion bees, are a small group of three closely related South American stingless bee species in the genus Trigona which feed on rotting meat.


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