West of Sarasota
Spoonbills eat algae and crustaceans that contain pigments called carotenoids. These pigments are found in the brine shrimp and blue-green algae that the birds eat. Enzymes in the liver break down the carotenoids into the pink and orange pigment molecules deposited in the feathers, bill, and legs of the spoonbils.
People also eat foods containing carotenoids. There is beta-carotene in carrots and lycopene in watermelon. Most people do not eat enough of these carotenoids to turn their skin very pink or orange.However, Bennett reports that uncle Doctor Leon Kruger, in an attempt to improve his vision, ate so many carrots that he developed carotenoid poisoning and was hospitalised after he turned bright orange.
Once I worked in the Biology Department at Florida State University. There was a woman biologist there named Dr. Pate. Dr. Pate got a grant from the US Army to study botulism, so she paid locals to trap turkey vultures for her. I think turkey vultures are beautiful flyers. Dr. Pate was curious about why vultures could eat so much rotten meat without getting sick.
Dr. Pate would give her vultures more and more botulism until their heads fell down on their chests. She called this "the limberneck"...after the turkey vultures got "the limberneck" Dr. Pate had to buy more vultures to replace them because they weren't really any good after that.
Mrs. Phred and Sunshine Cruiser are going to take me to the Botanical Gardens tomorrow after my radiation. so I should be able to get some nice pictures.