Consumptive Driving, Part II

John Shuey jshuey at TNC.ORG
Mon Jun 2 11:08:42 EDT 2003

As a note to this topic, some personal observations from Mexico. Back in the
80's, when my wife and I used to bum around southern Mexico quite a bit
(mostly Chiapas), we noticed that the free-range chickens that frequented
gas stations were keen "car taxonomists".  They always ignored our car (a VW
beetle) but would rush to almost any other car or truck as they pulled in
for gas.  It doesn't take a genius to watch them and figure out that they
were feeding on the grills of water-cooled cars - mostly butterflies.

Two things interested me at the time - that the food was so good that the
chickens raced each other when cars with grills rolled in.  And that the
chickens simply ignored the air-cooled VW - it simply wasn't even worth a
cluck in their little brains.

I guess that Mexican chickens are all are smarter than you might think....

John Shuey
Director of Conservation Science
Indiana Office of The Nature Conservancy

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