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Danish researchers discover birds with neurotoxin-laden feathers

The rufous-naped bellbird (Aleadryas rufinucha) is one of discovered posinous birds

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered two new species of poisonous birds during an expedition in the jungles of New Guinea. These birds have developed the ability to tolerate and store a neurotoxin in their feathers.

The regent whistler and the rufous-naped bellbird are the two bird species identified as poisonous. The regent whistler belongs to a family of birds with a wide distribution and is known for its recognizable song heard across the Indo-Pacific region. The rufous-naped bellbird is also a common species in the region.

The researchers were surprised to find these birds to be poisonous, as no new poisonous bird species had been discovered in over two decades. The ability to consume toxic food and convert it into their own poison is a unique adaptation found in these bird species.

The expedition took place in the biodiverse rainforests of New Guinea, where the researchers faced various challenges and risks to conduct their research. Despite the risks, the discovery of these new species adds to the understanding of the diverse wildlife found in this pristine rainforest.

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