Coprophagy: An unusual source of essential carotenoids

@article{Negro2002CoprophagyAU,
  title={Coprophagy: An unusual source of essential carotenoids},
  author={J. J. Negro and J. M. Grande and J. Tella and J. Garrido and D. Hornero and J. Don{\'a}zar and J. A. Sanchez-Zapata and J. R. Ben{\'i}tez and M. Barcell},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2002},
  volume={416},
  pages={807-808}
}
The rare Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) stands out among the Old World vultures (Family Accipitridae) because of its brightly ornamented head, which is coloured yellow by carotenoid pigments, and its practice of feeding on faeces. Here we show that Egyptian vultures obtain these pigments from the excrement of ungulates. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that faeces can be used as a source of carotenoids by a vertebrate. 
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