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Seabirds eat plastic because it smells like dinner - Futurity: Research News

If it smells like food, and looks like food, it must be food, right? Not in the case of ocean-faring birds that are sometimes found with bellies full of plastic. Marine plastic debris emits the scent of a sulfurous compound that some seabirds have ...and more »

The oceans are full of plastic, but why do seabirds eat it? - The Conversation US

Imagine that you are constantly eating, but slowly starving to death. Hundreds of species of marine mammals, fish, birds, and sea turtles face this risk every day when they mistake plastic debris for food. Plastic debris can be found in oceans around ...and more »

Animals Eat Ocean Plastic Because it Smells Like Food - National Geographic

As the oceans fill with plastic debris, hundreds of marine species eat astonishing amounts of it. Yet the question of why so many species, from the tiniest zooplankton to whales, mistake so much of it for food has never been fully explored. Now a new ...and more »

Marine plastic debris emits a keystone infochemical for olfactory foraging seabirds - Science Advances

Plastic debris is ingested by hundreds of species of organisms, from zooplankton to baleen whales, but how such a diversity of consumers can mistake plastic for their natural prey is largely unknown. The sensory mechanisms underlying plastic detection ...and more »

Why do seabirds eat plastic? The answer stinks - University of California

If it smells like food, and looks like food, it must be food, right? Not in the case of ocean-faring birds that are sometimes found with bellies full of plastic. But very little research examines why birds make the mistake of eating plastic in the ...and more »

Birds Can Be Drawn to the Scent of Plastic - New York Times

Over the vast plains of the open ocean, where wave lines may be the only markers, seabirds, including albatrosses, manage to find food. They feed on swarms of krill — tiny crustaceans that swirl near the surface of the ocean — and their relatives ...and more »

Plastic in the ocean smells delicious to seabirds - Cosmos

Plastics in the ocean don't just look like a tasty meal to seabirds – they smell delicious too. Researchers led by Matthew Savoca from the University of California, Davis in the US found microplastics in seawater emit a chemical irresistible to ...and more »

When seabirds smell plastic in the ocean, they think it's time to eat - Los Angeles Times

Seabirds mistakenly eat plastic debris in the ocean not just because it looks like food, but because it smells like it. When mealtime comes around, many species of ocean-faring birds, including albatrosses and petrels, follow their noses to the smell ...and more »

The tragic reason seabirds keep mistaking ocean plastic for food - Washington Post

Each year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean, where it often goes straight into the bellies of hungry birds, sea turtles and other marine animals. This is a big concern for scientists, who are still investigating the possible ...and more »

Chemical clue to why seabirds eat plastic - BBC News

Plastic pollution in the sea gives off a smell that attracts foraging birds, scientists have found. The discovery could explain why seabirds such as the albatross swallow plastic, causing injury or death. The smell, similar to the odour of rotting ...and more »