Seagulls: the food that people touch is really fragrant
Seagulls: the food that people touch is really fragrant
Seagull, a honey creature that stares at the food in your hand and doesn't let you stare at it.

it takes courage to enjoy delicious food outdoors where seagulls live. As soon as you take out the food, the seabirds will gather around and try to take away all the food.

and a recent study published in Royal Society Open Science found that seagulls do find the food in their hands particularly delicious, and they are always more likely to choose such food.

the researchers looked at the local silver gull (Larus argentatus). The experimenter would put two identical foods on the ground for seagulls to choose from (a sweet oatcake with a plastic package). After determining the subject, the experimenter squatted down about 8 meters away from it and began to show the food. In front of the seagulls, the experimenter would pick up one of the pieces to pretend to eat (lasting 20 seconds), then put the oatmeal down and leave, and the camera would record the reaction of the seagulls.

(silver gull, photo source: Madeleine Goumas)

results show that seagulls do prefer the "eaten" side of the two foods. Of the 24 seagulls that pecked the food, 19 (79%) went straight to the one they had taken.

in addition, the researchers replaced the food in the above experiment with non-food of similar size (because the oatmeal cake label was blue, so the control chose a blue clean sponge) and conducted another round of tests. This time, the proportion of seagulls pecking sponges decreased significantly, and there was no obvious preference for the side that humans had held.

it seems that seagulls do use "human eating" as a clue to find food (which is indeed a smart strategy), and they seem to know that sponges don't look like eatable.

you can see a clip of the experiment scene in the video below:

if you think the painting style of this experiment (and the experimenter) is familiar. Yes, this is the research team that once found that staring at seagulls can make them fear and avoid being robbed of food, and this series of seagull experiments are really interesting.

(Seagull: at least help me tear the package open before leaving. )


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