Fishes, on the other hand, have excellent chemosensory organs. I bet no fish
would eat peppers... but I'm not really sure.
on the rainy Tennessee
Huntsville, AL, US of A
>Subject: NANFA-L-- old topic - capsaicin - comments from Liz
>Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 08:28:43 EST
> > >Bruce, seems like I read that the birds swallow the peppers whole, and
> > >do not release the capsaicin from the peppers until digestion is
> > >in the gizzard. Then the capsaicin has the same cathartic effect that
> > >has in people -- that is, the undigested seeds are passed more quickly
> > >they would be if there were no capsaicin involved. The capsaicin
> > >stimulates pain receptors in mammals, which masticate the chili
> > >but not in birds, which have no teeth. Seems like Jantzen, of
> > >of Pennsylvania (or one of his students) did some work on this with
> > >long-billed thrashers in S. Texas and in Arizona, and found that
> > >capsaicin is cathartic in them. These birds eat a lot of peppers where
> > >they grow wild as part of the shrub stands in S. Texas. I think that
> > >was even speculation that the chili advertises itself to the birds by
> > >bright colors.
> >Birds are not in the least bit effected by capsaicin, neither are iguanas
> >they eat lots and lots of peppers in South America and spread the seeds.
>I have heard, but am not up on the latest research to be sure, that
>supposedly the capsaicin is an adaptation to keep mammals, who apparently
>are inferior seed dispersers, from eating the peppers, so that more will be
>left for birds to eat. Birds see red well, but many mammals apparently
>lack a red cone in their eye and do not.
>People who keep parrots often feed dried hot peppers to them and the
>parrots do chew them up, apparently with no bad effect. Whatever the
>reason is that it doesn't hurt them, it's not because they don't get it on
>their tongue and skin, which are very sensitive. Perhaps they don't have
>the right kind of receptor in their skin for the capsaicin. Heaven
>knows. However, the peppers have successfully trained parrot owners not
>to kiss their parrots after such a meal - owza! This was probably not the
>evolutionary intent, but the world is pretty messed up nowadays.
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association (NANFA). Comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of NANFA. For more information about NANFA,
/ visit http://www.nanfa.org Please make sure all posts to nanfa-l are
/ consistent with the guidelines as per
/ http://www.nanfa.org/archive/nanfa/guidelines.html To subscribe,
/ unsubscribe, or get help, visit the NANFA email list home page and