Some hummingbirds are expert fencers, using beak as sword

November 4, 2014 11:34 PM

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"I think people initially think of them as beautiful, delicate creatures," researcher Alejandro Rico-Guevara said, "but I enjoy revealing their pugnacious attitudes."

It's long been assumed this hunt for nectar is the chief driver in the hummingbird's adaptation through natural selection, but new research suggests sexual competition also plays a role, as a variety of male hummingbirds use their beak as both nectar-sipper and sword -- dueling rivals for territoria...

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