Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

i-874a5db27ed545a0a6bce0cebcd6f190-gang gang.jpg I have another post coming out later today for Friday Grey Matters, but I just had to put up a link to this amazing parrot-post at the Lounge of the Lab Lemming. In America, the nuts of the sweet gum tree are prickly, indestructible annoyances:

It was a family joke that they were so indestructible that after the sun burned out and blasted the Earth’s atmosphere and biota to a crisp, the sweetgum balls would remain, the only biological object refactory enough to survive the inferno and bear testament to the former presence of life on the planet.

However, Australians have a bit different view of sweet gum nuts: as bird candy. An indigenous parrot called a Gang Gang was caught on camera by Mr. Lemming himself (I’ll not reproduce the photos, go see for yourself! My photo above is from Wikipedia) tearing into those iron-clad nuts like so much butter. I’d never even heard of the Gang Gang before, which piqued my interest about these hardy avians; read more about the Gang Gang Cockatoo here.

Many thanks to Lab Lemming for kind support.


  1. #1 Luna_the_cat
    April 27, 2007

    Having seen a gang of New Zealand kea disassemble some poor schmuck’s car just for the fun of it, the destructive power of Parrotkind no longer surprises me even a little bit.

  2. #2 Tyler DiPietro
    April 28, 2007

    *points up* Now that’s something you have to worry about. Track that dumb fuck’s IP and sic the cops on him.

    SB: Eh, nut jobs come outta the nut jar every now and then. Best ignored like annoying flies that don’t even merit swatting.

  3. #3 Tyler DiPietro
    April 28, 2007

    Just so there is no confusion, my comments here have thus far been directed at the general readership. Although one can get confused by the syntax of my post, I have not preemptively accused Shelley of anything. So if I am to get butt-reamed by my comments, I at least want to get butt-reamed over the former offense.

  4. #4 knobody
    May 21, 2007

    i have a friend who grew up in crystal river. she says that when she was a kid, she and her siblings used to paint sweet gum balls white and sell them to tourists as porcupine eggs.

  5. #5 Peter Sawiris
    June 30, 2007

    i have my african grey on a webcam ( I can’t get her to chew on bamboo (see the cam). Does anyone know of a good wood (safe wood) that she will chew up without flinging it 12 feet from her perch? She is not in a cage. Thnaks.

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