Meat-eating vulture bees have evolved special gut bacteria to feast on flesh

Meat-eating vulture bees have evolved special gut bacteria to feast on flesh

Sign up for CNN's Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more. (CNN)The vast majority of bees feed on pollen and nectar, but certain species have evolved to feast on meat, substituting dead animal carcasses for flower meadows. To better understand this extreme shift in diet, scientists at the University of California-Riverside, Columbia University and Cornell University studied the gut bacteria or microbiome of the so-called vulture bees in Costa Rica. The researchers found that the bees' guts are rich in acid-loving bacteria similar to those found in vultures, hyenas and other animals that feed on carrion. Their study was released on Tuesday in the journal mBio, published by the American Society for Microbiology Only three species of bee in the world …
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