Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Weird in Dental: Animal Eating Habits you Might Not Have Known

Ask yourself, or even ask your dentist in Quezon City, “what’s the first thing you think of when you say teeth?” I’d bet that your answer would be “smile”. OK, so what’s the second thing that you can think of? Eating. Of course it’s eating. I mean, what else do you do with your teeth?

Eating is simple. You get food, put it in your mouth, chew with your teeth, enjoy (experience may vary) and then swallow. You’d think that, at least for animals, it would be that simple and that they’d eat in the typical way we know but really, there are a lot of things that would be surprised about with their habits. Sink your teeth into some of them.

Birds eat Birds
This doesn’t sound as weird if you’re familiar as to what birds of prey, like hawks, falcons, and eagles like. It would sound weird if we told you that pelicans eat pigeons. It’s what they do when there’s a shortage of fish in their vicinity.

Another bird that has an unusual eating habit is the skua. It scares seagulls by swooping on at them and until they vomit out of fear and exhaustion. That’s if they gulls are lucky—if they haven’t anything to vomit, after they get exhausted, skuas proceed to just straight up eating their tired bodies. Oh, and they eat baby penguins, too.

Cows eat Birds (Sometimes)

Cows, with their molar filled mouth, are the last animals you’d expect to need to eat birds but they do, and so do goats, deer, and sheep! It’s because these “herbivores” need calcium and other minerals that their current diet or environment are not making available to them—for example, stags eat tiny wild birds because they need to develop their antlers, and so on.

Humans aren’t the Only Animals to Wash Food

Humans have this distinctive acuity for hygiene that not everyone in the animal kingdom has. They take shower, brush their teeth, and eat food only after it’s been washed clean. Surprisingly, the Japanese macaque does too!
Used to be, macaques just brushed off any soil that would be on the root crops they were to eat but one of them, whom the researchers affectionately named Imo, washed hers by the sea and all the others followed suit, creating a habit that has prevailed until today.

Humans Eat Vomit

What? Ew! How gross is it to even think about eating vomit. The thing is, however, you could most likely be among these vomit eating people. Honey is a sweet name for bee vomit. That’s basically it, we are a species that enjoy the vomit of small flying insects. Technically, this entry isn’t as weird for you as it is for the bees who might be wondering why others would want to steal they’re regurgitated pollen that might even be great for oral health.


Maybe one of the weirdest and most amazing thing I’ve heard in a while is this scientific jargon. It basically means the food habit of animals specifically for the purpose of treating illness and recovering from injuries. That’s right: there are animals that have turned nature into their own free-for-all pharmacy.

Dogs would sometimes eat grass so they can induce vomiting after eating something that could potentially be poisonous. Even eating bone, apart from being a method of sustenance, is also a way for dogs to keep their teeth sharp and clean.

This is such a wonderfully weird world we live in that even animals, instead of visiting the same dentist in Quezon City that you do, will find a way to care for their teeth, or wash food or season it with salty sea water. But no matter how weird it is to think that bee vomit is something we enjoy as humans, constant brushing and regular trips to the dentist is still necessary. 

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