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February 06, 2019 - New York Times

The Hummingbird as Warrior: Evolution of a Fierce and Furious Beak

The Hummingbird as Warrior: Evolution of a Fierce and Furious Beak
HummingbirdFile Photo / © Photabulous!

The Aztecs weren’t fooled. Their god of war, Huitzilopochtli, was a hummingbird. The Aztecs loved war, and they loved the beauty of the birds as well. It seems they didn’t find any contradiction in the marriage of beauty and bloodthirsty aggression.

Scientists understood that aggression was a deep and pervasive part of hummingbird life. But they, too, have had their blind spots. The seemingly perfect match of nectar-bearing flowers to slender nectar-sipping beaks clearly showed that hummingbirds were shaped by co-evolution.

Read more at New York Times


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