Koalas, Men, and Other Conditioned Gastronomes



The vertebrate herbivore is a highly specialized consumer of vegetation, living in a precarious niche where probably one-quarter of all plants contain toxic glycosides and alkaloids (Garcia and Hankins, 1975). The plant eater, usually characterized as stupid compared to carnivores and omnivores, survives in this perilous niche by virtue of a remarkable learning capacity focused upon food selection by structural constraints resulting from natural selection. In our preoccupation with mnemonically coded information, we are apt to overlook the direction given to learning by the gross anatomical features of the body.


Physiological Psychology Taste Aversion Apple Juice Food Habit Behavioral Biology 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mental Retardation Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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