Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Such a Gizzard

Entry for January 10, A Walk Through the Year
The French scientist and naturalist, Rene de Reaumur, two centuries ago reported the amazing results he obtained in experiments with the strength and grinding ability of the gizzard of a domestic turkey. He found that a small tube of sheet iron, which could be dented only when subjected to a pressure of eighty pounds, was flattened and partially rolled up after only twenty-four hours in the gizzard of this bird. Another scientist, in a more recent test, showed that in the space of four hours a turkey’s gizzard can grind up as many as twenty-four English walnuts within their shells. Again it has been demonstrated that such a gizzard is able to crush nuts so hard their shells resist pressures of from 124 to 336 pounds before they crack.
-Edwin Way Teale

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