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Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum) | by mountainpath2001
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Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum)

This bird somehow has lost most of its elaborate tail. These birds eat many of the giant, fiercely stinging ant, Paraponera (Bullet Ants). The genus Paraponera contains a single species, clavata, common in wet Neotropical lowland forests. These giant ants have an extremely painful sting. Bullet ant workers are solitary hunters, returning to the nest with captured insects. They forage mainly in the canopy and understory. We saw this bird and a bullet ant at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. We actually saw the bullet ant on our spotting scope after everyone had looked through it! This is a bite that researchers here definitely try to avoid and is another reason for not resting your hands on trees in the rainforest.

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Taken on November 2, 2005