Monday, November 05, 2007

Pica - Eating Weird Things and Magpies

I was watching CSI yesterday and they referred to a person suffering from pica - a disorder in which the person eats non-traditional things like dirt, plastic, coins, raw ingredients, and other strange things. If you saw the series premiere of Grey's Anatomy, you would have seen a patient on that show who was eating large amounts of coins. So how does this tie into birds? Pica is the genus name for the Magpie family (Black-billed and Yellow-billed in the US). The disorder is named after the magpie because it is thought that the magpie has a very non-discerning diet.

5 comments:

dguzman said...

I knew about pica the disease, but I didn't know about the magpie connection. Cool! Pica's one of my favorite "call in sick" reasons I use when joking with my boss, along with the old standby's (sp?) like ebola, SARS, and monkey pox.

Patrick Belardo said...

That is too funny!

Will said...

What about that expired "meat" jerky you ate in Indian Lake while looking for Boreal Birds this summer?

1) Does that count as eating something odd

and

2) Would even a Magpie eat that stuff?

Patrick Belardo said...

I don't even think a magpie would (or should) eat "mechanically separated chicken" or whatever it was called.

Dude said...

whatever