Why Do Parrots (And People) Eat Clay?

Via Frans Lemmens/Getty Images


A couple of hypotheses regarding parrots’ practice of geophagy…

The parrots of Southeastern Peru crave an earthy delicacy: dirt. At the Colorado clay lick, a cliff face rising above the Tambopata River in the western Amazon Basin, parrots — often hundreds at a time from up to 18 species — gather each day to feast on sun-hardened clay.

“It’s a real spectacle of both sight and sound,” says biologist Donald Brightsmith of Texas A&M University.

As director of the Tambopata Macaw Project, Brightsmith has spent 16 years leading researchers and volunteers who record the comings and goings of these hungry parrots. Their goal, in part, is to get to the bottom of what drives this earth-eating habit, which occurs throughout the region.

Read on at The Salt.

Amazon’s Price Cuts on Food Leave Rivals Bracing for Impact

Photo by Jane W. for Yelp


On Amazon cutting Whole Foods prices…

A price war has raged in U.S. supermarket aisles for well over a year, bloodying retailers big and small. On Monday, Amazon.com Inc. plans to toss a smart bomb into the fray.

The online giant’s move to slash prices on everything from organic baby kale to fair-trade bananas on the same day its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. closes showed the “high-velocity decision making” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos claims as his hallmark, and sent shares of Kroger Co., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reeling Thursday. Amazon will also begin selling Whole Foods’ store brands on its site, install Amazon pickup lockers in some locations and meld its Prime program into the upscale grocer’s operations.

Read on at Bloomberg.

Whole Foods and Beyond—Three Ways Amazon Is Changing the Grocery Game

Jeff Sandquist via Wikimedia Commons


Amazon is cornering the market on groceries…

Amazon has made some big moves into the grocery business—launching its AmazonFresh delivery service, opening brick-and-mortar stores, buying some little chain of grocery stores called Whole Foods. They’re also interested in grabbing a share of the nearly $70 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP benefits). Here are three ways Amazon is changing the grocery game.

Read on at Modern Farmer.