The most fascinating and unique of the cotingas and manakins, however, are the three Phytotoma plantcutters. They are the only folivorous passerines, and unique among arboreal folivores in being fast-metabolising – most arboreal folivores, like the koala, sloths, pandas and mousebirds (order Coliiformes), have abnormally low metabolic rates to cope with very low-nutrient and toxic food. Andean and Southern Cone South America, however, is the most eutrophic subcontinent not only today, but, with negligible doubt in Earth’s entire geological history. Consequently, its flora uses little chemical defence and Phytotoma species, unlike other vertebrate folivores, gain excellent nutrition, while their ability to fly out-competes non-volant mammalian folivores in this predator-dense environment.
|This is a seagull supposedly placed in chicken curry|