Researchers: hummingbirds drink using ‘tiny pumps’

August 19, 2015 7:31 PM

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The hummingbirds that show up around your porch to drink up proffered sugary water are, as you know, zippy little birds. It’s hard to see anything more than their quick darting around, but thanks to slow motion video we’ve been given a look at what we’ve been missing. Much like cats, hummingbirds drink using their tongue, but rather than lapping it up, they use their tongue as a type of tiny pump that works very, very fast.

The information comes from a new study by UConn researchers Alejandro Rico-Guevara, Margaret Rubega, and Tai-Hsi Fan. In the past, it was believed that hummingbirds drank using a sort of 'wicking' action, but the new research shows that is wrong, and that the tongue rather works as a tiny pump to pu...

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