FlipFact of the Day: Are you a fan of spicy food? As it turns out, birds are, too. In fact, they’re probably even bigger fans than you.
Peppers (and most plants under the genus Capsicum) contain capsaicin, the chemical responsible for spiciness. This is normally enough to deter most animals (such as humans) from eating the fruits of these plants, as their teeth are powerful enough to destroy the seeds inside the fruits.
Birds, however, are unaffected by capsaicin. Since the chili pepper seeds pass right through their digestive systems unharmed, birds unwittingly disperse seeds wherever they go, thereby enabling the plants to reproduce.
In other words, your pet bird will almost certainly fare better at a chili-eating contest than you.
Today’s Science History Milestone: On August 5, 1930, American astronaut Neil Armstrong was born. He is best known for being the first man to set foot on the Moon.
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Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco
Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.