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Taken 10-Dec-13
20 of 121 photos

Scarlet Macaw (Ara Macao) II

Scarlet macaws primarily eat fruit and nuts, and will occasionally supplement their diet with nectar and flowers. Ara macao individuals are known to consume fruits before they are ripe. Premature fruits have a tougher skin and pulp that is difficult to access unless the bird has a beak large enough to tear into it. By accessing these fruits before they are available to other animals, they may gain a competitive advantage. Scarlet macaws are also able to break open the toughest nuts. Parrots have more movement in their beaks than do other birds, which allows for a more powerful bill. This ability creates an important food resource for the parrots because not a lot of other animals are able to access such a large variety of nuts. There are structures on the inside of their beaks that allow scarlet macaws to press the hard seed between their tongue and palate and grind the seed so that it can be digested.