6
$\begingroup$

Many species arise from evolution, but as in many fantasy works the creatures are created by gods, titans or something similar, so I think this gives a certain freedom to create creatures with fantastic characteristics, but that are scientifically plausible. Thinking about it, I would like to know: can a bird produce saliva that makes plants grow and wounds heal(even if for this there have to be two species, one producing healing saliva and the other producing saliva that stimulates plant growth)?

Details about the animal:

It is a species of bird that lives in forests, it feeds on fruits and grains that it gets from plants. Saliva is able to accelerate the wound healing process and even improve the immune system against diseases, viruses, bacteria, etc. They use this in case another member of the species gets hurt, then one opens its beak and lets the saliva run over the wound or if a member of the species gets sick, then they make it ingest the saliva of another to recover faster. This property has an effect on animals of other species as well as humans, making their domestication desirable. Another property is to make the seeds and plants that come into contact with your saliva grow faster. They use this to plant their own food (just like ants do with fungi) when they get the chance, let them salivate on the plant even after germinating to continue accelerating its growth. The effects of saliva are not immediate, it will not take seconds or minutes for plants to grow, wounds to heal and diseases to heal, it will just take less time than usual. Example: if a plant takes 9 months to grow to bear fruit, with the bird's saliva it would take 7 or 6, maybe even less. Ah, I don't know if that's going to matter, but the bird, when its wings are closed, is the size of a cat. I don't know if the size of the bird will matter in any way, but there you have it.

$\endgroup$
6
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I can tell you one thing already: that saliva has to have a TON of different things in it for it to work as described, probably including things such as: plant hormones, several animal hormones, proteins, enzymes, white blood cells, DNA-altering molecules, borderline magic stem cells and others. $\endgroup$ Oct 12 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible for an animal to get all this from a diet of fruits and grains? Or would there have to be something more? $\endgroup$ Oct 12 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ From a practical point of view it's actually more sensible for the plant growth property to be excreted with any undigested seeds rather than in saliva. Birds are already an important factor in the reproduction of many plant species by dispersing seeds in their droppings. Also, suggest that the plants may grow faster but it will actually be detrimental if they start fruiting out of season. $\endgroup$ Oct 12 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ It's probably not impossible, since plants and animals use the same genetic code, but I'd say it's unlikely that a bird would be able to get specific plant hormones in the amounts they need by simply eating seeds rather than making them or chewing on something else (I mean no fruit will have borderline magical stem cells on them unless it's a borderline-magical-stem-cell-fruit tree). $\endgroup$ Oct 13 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible for a tree to produce fruit like that? $\endgroup$ Oct 13 at 0:15
3
$\begingroup$

The birds have enzymes that break minerals out of rocks:

There are rare minerals on your world that are essential to life. PROBLEM: those minerals are very rare in the environment. The engineering for the species created by your gods is very clever, but gods engineering the process tend to stick with variations on what they know. Over time, it's perpetuated a universal problem. Mineral deficiency.

Maybe it was an oversight. Directed evolution leads to blind spots like this. Maybe there's tons of the mineral wherever your gods come from, but the world they are populating is deficient. Or physics works slightly differently in the divine realm. But it's a problem that leaves everyone and everything a little weaker and sicker than they would be otherwise. While the mineral is present in the environment, it's not in a useable form. Aluminum is a good candidate - if you created life that used aluminum, it isn't normally bioactive or soluble in the environment.

So the problem exists, and the gods don't want to destroy the world and start over just to address a nutritional deficiency. That's a lot of work! Your birds were added to the established environment to address this problem. The birds swallow mineral-rich stones and digest out all the (fill in the blank-zinc, calcium, lithium, aluminum whatever) that your other species need desperately (by themselves or with symbiotic bacteria), then concentrate the excess in their saliva. When the birds eat the seeds of other plants, they deliver a critical boost of minerals to the remaining seeds of their chosen foodstuffs, stimulating growth.

Since sick birds and ALL other species on the planet are perpetually a little sick from mineral deficiency, the saliva of these birds accelerates growth and healing. Whatever and whomever the birds touch are just better off.

This doesn't need to, but could take the form of a cleaning symbiosis if you expand the diet of the birds to flesh. The birds track down sick animals and remove necrotic tissue, cleaning out wounds while depositing the immune-boosting minerals at the site of the wound to boost disease resistance and speed healing. Surgeon bird, anyone?

$\endgroup$
4
  • $\begingroup$ It's a good answer, but birds won't need to cure other species, it's just something that may happen if another animal comes in contact with the saliva of these birds. They won't act as nurses for the animal world and they won't be salivating everywhere. $\endgroup$ Oct 13 at 0:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @WizardKing The OP (okay, that's you) doesn't require the birds to help other species, and only mentions it in relationship to domestication. You could have a system where this DOES happen, similar to the pest-eating birds that clean crocodile teeth en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_plover so animals with wounds would present themselves, and the birds would eat damaged tissue while delivering the minerals to the injured. That would fit in the bigger environmental role, but again, isn't a requirement of the question. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    2 days ago
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @WizardKing You might even have several species of these birds, each meeting a particular environmental role. Obviously they are a huge advantage to have a symbiotic relationship with, but are also useful (mineral-rich) prey animals. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    2 days ago
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @WizardKing This is especially good if the mineral is involved in the immune system. The injured animals might be sick from infections, and the bird would clean the wound while simultaneously boosting the immune system to fight off infection. Zinc lozenge, anyone? $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    2 days ago
3
$\begingroup$

There are tales cure by animals saliva. Saint Roch is told to be cured by a dog that licked his wounds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Roch

A teacher of mine told me that is not magic, dogs really lick wounds of theirs and of other dogs and their human owners. The trick is dog's saliva has antibacterial properties.

I don't recommend try this in your home with your pet.

Real world histories about cure by animals saliva have existed for centuries. So I think you could use it without fear be saying an absurd.

Just place some kind of natural antibacterial agent in the saliva for the cure part and some kind of enzyme that helps the natural Enzymatic hydrolysis process. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enzymatic_hydrolysis

But a better option is place all the responsibility by the cures and better crops to the bacterium. Benevolent bacteria in the birds saliva cures because it reacts with animal blood and products a natural antibiotic. Looks paradoxical but it is not. Remember there are several kind of bacteria into your digestive system. Without them you die. The same bird's bacteria spreads into the soil where a licked seed was dropped. There are several ways bacteria could help plants growing. Help fixing nitrogen to the soil is an example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_fixation

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Bird is an unintentional alchemist

Through some form of miraculously fantastical happenstance of biological sorcery your bird has a digestive system that has the added function of distilling the faint magical properties of the fruits and seeds it ingests into a more concentrated form through a series of organs like a miniaturized version of the apparatuses of an alchemist's distillation station that eventually gathers in the two spit glands near its mouth where the alchemical substances mix with their spit and lead to its abilities.

Technically one gland has the healing potion substance and the other has the potion of plant growth but since the collection glands are their spit glands they don't really have control over which one excretes what when.

$\endgroup$
5
  • $\begingroup$ I wish it had as little magic as possible or none at all. $\endgroup$ 2 days ago
  • $\begingroup$ @WizardKing Having this saliva on its own is already magical enough to imply some sort of innate magic in my opinion. Besides, normal saliva has accelerated/better healing properties anyway, the wounds in mouths always healing faster than wounds in other parts of the body, and is why animals lick their wounds, to clean it, yes, but also to introduce the white blood cells in saliva directly to the wound instead of waiting for their immune system to eventually get to the wound. $\endgroup$
    – Hearsay
    2 days ago
  • $\begingroup$ I planned that magic would only be used to create this species of bird, but not that it relies on magic to produce such saliva. The rest would be as scientifically correct as possible. $\endgroup$ 2 days ago
  • $\begingroup$ But maybe there could be two species... One with healing saliva and the other with "fertilizing" saliva. Do you think this would be possible? Because apparently it is difficult if not impossible for a single saliva to have both properties simultaneously. $\endgroup$ 2 days ago
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @WizardKing I can imagine a more peaceful gardener variety that has secured food for itself with its plant hormone saliva and a more aggressive variety that gets into fights a lot which may explain their need to heal each other, which may have penicillin in its saliva(gained from eating mold) for anti-infection or a more universally accepted white blood cell that can help with healing more than just itself. $\endgroup$
    – Hearsay
    2 days ago
0
$\begingroup$

Yes - so long as the birds are Russian (or Georgian).

"Phage therapy is approach with great promise in next few years, as has been true for past hundred years. In Soviet Union, phage therapy has been used for past hundred years. Hand selection and propagation of strains is incompatible with state capitalist licensing model, so is impossible in West even for hundred thousand years..."

Fortunately, our scientist-hero found a way for his treatment to fly in the West after all. He merely needed a little bird to tell them about it. With the genetic information for hundreds of thousands of carefully selected bacteriophages assembled in its genome, ready for transcription, trans-splicing, and V(D)J-type joining, this bird produces the cure for well nigh anything that ails you. Or your livestock. Or your crops. And in addition to spontaneously producing cures for bacterial infections ... it also takes requests! Cryptochromes in its bloodstream react to monochromatic laser light by activating specific genes of interest, which are often spliced together to create the phage you desire according to your blueprint.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.