professor caricatureProf. Mumblebard claims: “Mitchell grassland, the most extensive treeless grassland in Australia, is surprisingly poor in indigenous grazers. It is safe to assume that grazing marsupials were formerly common in this area (see the accompanying map) but have become extinct in the last tens of thousands of years.”

logoRobin and the Honey Badger respond: “Ducks have flown under the radar as important grazers in Mitchell grassland because they are usually assumed to be aquatic omnivores rather than terrestrial grazers. What sets the plumed whistling duck) (pictured here) apart from related ducks is a staple diet consisting of the soft parts of dryland grasses, with even the hatchlings eating herbaceous greens. The specialised diet of this particular duck makes it competitively superior to mammals as a nomadic grazer of a semi-arid grassland subject to occasional flooding after cyclonic rains.”

Please join us here at the Bio-edge with your own comments. In the discussion below we encourage links to any evidence supporting either Prof. Mumblebard or Robin and the Honey Badger. Illustrations are welcome but please cite all sources or we may be forced under copyright to delete your comment.

A mutilator of more than just bamboos.