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Avian gut microbiota and behavioral studies

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Avian gut microbiota and behavioral studies
Lee, Won Young
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Avian gut microbiota; Behavior; Fasting; Recognition
Issue Date
Lee, Won Young. 2015. "Avian gut microbiota and behavioral studies". Kor. J. Orni., 22(1): 1-11.
As many wild birds move long distance with the seasons and show very distinctive behaviors during the mating and molting seasons, birds are one of the ideal taxa to study the relationship between microorganisms and host animals. Recently, inferring from the various molecular tools, it has been suggested that microbes play an important role in avian host behaviors. Many studies focus on the avian microbiota and its effects on animals in both genetic and environmental aspects. In this paper, research areas related to the gut microbiota and behavioral studies in wild birds are introduced. Here, I focus on ‘mating’, ‘recognition’ and ‘molt-fast’ behaviors and discuss possible mechanisms on how such behaviors are affected by the gut microbes. In addition, I report my observations on different colors and structures of Antarctic penguins (Gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua and Chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica) feces between the periods (green and white during at molting and light red with undigested krill at the feeding period), which implies the possible changes of fecal microbiota by molt-fast.
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