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“Vulture bees” evolved a taste for flesh—and their microbiomes reflect that

The vulture bees often enter a carcass via the eyes, similar to maggots, and efficiently consume a carcass. A large lizard was reduced to a skeleton over two days, while the bees took just eight hours to remove all feathers and flesh from the head of a dead passerine. They reduced two frogs to skeletons in six hours. Because they fed on carrion rather than collecting pollen, this species had a distinctive hind leg, with a drastically reduced pollen basket compared to "vegetarian" bees.

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by Anonymousreply 9November 26, 2021 11:52 AM

Weirdly, over the summer, I witnessed something similar. I was having dinner with my cousins on their patio. There was a bee that was annoying us. We had all sorts of sweet things out there. But the bee landed on a piece of chicken and literally tried to tear a piece of it off. It was funny and scary at the same time. So strange.

by Anonymousreply 1November 24, 2021 2:17 PM

R1, you're next

by Anonymousreply 2November 24, 2021 2:20 PM

[quote]this species had a distinctive hind leg, with a drastically reduced pollen basket


by Anonymousreply 3November 24, 2021 2:37 PM

Same here, r1! At an outdoor lunch a bee landed on a piece of ham in front of me and ate a perfect little square of it!

by Anonymousreply 4November 24, 2021 6:26 PM

Nothing new under the sun:

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by Anonymousreply 5November 24, 2021 6:31 PM

I don't know why this comes as such a surprise to scientists. Bees can't stay off of dog poop, they go bonkers for it.

by Anonymousreply 6November 24, 2021 6:41 PM

Thanks so much, OP.

I'll follow up with my extensive collection of "found dead after two weeks in summer" autopsy photos and give you all the credit, if you're not very careful from here on out. The fat ones are the most to your taste, I'm sure.

by Anonymousreply 7November 24, 2021 6:43 PM

They sound like my ravenous in-laws who can turn anything into a skeleton

by Anonymousreply 8November 24, 2021 6:49 PM

I would love to see an air war between murder hornets 🐝 & vulture bees 🐝

by Anonymousreply 9November 26, 2021 11:52 AM
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