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small plainly colored Old World bird of the family Indicatoridae, known for its habit of leading man and some lower animals (notably the honey badgerhoney badger
or ratel
, carnivore, Mellivora capensis, of the forest and brush country of Africa, the Middle East, and India; it is a member of the badger and skunk family.
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) to the nests of wild bees. Honeyguides are native to Africa, the Himalayas, and the East Indies. The largest and best-known species is the 8-in. long (20-cm) black-throated African honeyguide, Indicator indicator. It leads tribespeople to bees' nests, waits for them to open the hive, and then feeds on bits of honeycomb, bees, and larvae; it has special bacteria in its stomach to aid in the digestion of beeswax. Honeyguides lay their eggs in the nests of hole-nesting birds and the young, on hatching, kill their nest mates with special needle-sharp bill hooks; they are then able to consume all the food brought by their foster parents. Honeyguides are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Piciformes, family Indicatoridae.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Further into the bush at Honeyguide is the Outpost camp, a smaller tented camp from which parties sally out on foot.
Once there, the honeyguide informs its followers by uttering a different call.
These accounts include food and diving (in penguins and pelicans with photographs and drawings of diving by pelicans; surface feeding by frigatebirds, which cannot dive under water; suction filter-feeding by flamingos) and odd ways of getting their food, as in African honeyguides that guide people to bee nests, and neotropical antbirds that follow army-ant swarms as the ants flush insects from the ground.