Studies reveal the strange drinking habits of hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are named for the sound of their rapidly beating wings, but now their tongues have captured scientists’ attention. These tiny birds can suck 10 drops of nectar out of a flower every 15 milliseconds, researchers at the University of Connecticut recently discovered. For nearly two centuries, scientists have thought the birds used a much slower “wicking” technique (absorbing or drawing off a liquid by capillary action), LiveScience reported. It turns out that hummingbird tongues do not wick, they pump. By capturing video footage of 18 species of hummingbirds drinking from artificial “flowers,” the research team, led by research scientist…

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