Each animal species hosts its own, unique community of microbes that can significantly improve its health and fitness. This is the implication of a laboratory study that investigated four different animal groups and their associated microbiota. The research found that each species within the group has a distinctive microbial community.
Experiments with two of the groups -- one mammal and one insect -- demonstrated that individuals possessing their natural microbiota digested food more efficiently and had greater survival than those that were implanted with the microbial communities of closely related species.
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Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle