Poop Transplants Let Pack Rats Eat Poison

Can’t eat poison without dying? Maybe your gut microbes are to blame. Rodents in the Mojave Desert have evolved to eat toxic creosote bushes with the help of specialized gut bacteria. Although scientists had long suspected that bacteria might be key to the rats’ power, they proved it by feeding the rodents antibiotics and ground-up feces.

The desert woodrat or Neotoma lepida lives in dry parts of the western United States. (You might know woodrats as “pack rats”; they build elaborate nests

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