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Unfazed by stings, the Formosan serow feasts on biting cat nettles

 

From 2016 to 2017, Shei-Pa National Park Headquarters commissioned a Tunghai University research team to conduct a survey of animals along the Dabajian Mountain hiking trails. The research team used automated infrared cameras to capture video of a Formosan serow feasting on biting cat nettles. In the video, the Formosan serow heartily chews the biting cat nettles, letting the world know that not only are they vegetarian, the sting-covered leaves of biting cat nettles are also among their favorite foods.

The biting cat nettle is a member of the urticaceae family found in low to high altitude mountain regions in Taiwan. The entire plant, especially the leaves, are covered in stinging hairs that contain formic acid, which induces a painful sensation for 1 to 2 days after contact with skin. The accidental recording from this wildlife survey is truly precious; it prompts us to think about the role and importance of each species in the natural world.

 

The research team used automated infrared cameras to capture video of a Formosan serow feasting on biting cat nettles
The research team used automated infrared
cameras to capture video of a Formosan serow
feasting on biting cat nettles.

 

 

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