Photos: Hummingbirds Slurp Up Tasty Nectar

August 19, 2015 2:29 PM

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Photos: Hummingbirds Slurp Up Tasty Nectar

Hummingbirds zip from flower to flower, licking up nectar with their tongues. The exact way these tongues work has long eluded scientists, but a new study shows that hummingbird tongues are elastic micropumps that rapidly pull in nectar once they reach the inside of the flower. [Read the full story on the hummingbird's tongue]

A male sparkling violetear (Colibri coruscans) hummingbird in Bogotá, Colombia. The bird has extended its tongue after feeding from a flower, preparing it for elastic expansion. Hummingbirds fuel their high-speed lifestyle with tiny drops of nectar and the occasional fly. (Image credit: Kristiina Hu...

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