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MLaaSP – Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air

September 29, 2011

My Life as a Science Promoter

The world population as of 21:41 CST September 29, 2011: 6,965,282,371

Last night on PBS was a NATURE show about the smallest bird in the world, Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air. With wings that flap up to 200 times every second, they are among nature’s…wait a second…think about this. 200! Tap your finger on your leg. How fast can you do it? Probably a couple of times in a second. Wow! These birds are an amazing product of evolution.

The funniest quote of the show, “For hummingbirds, as for many other creatures, sex is a game in which females make the rules.” You can watch the full episode online and see high-def video of them in flight:

Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air

Or if you don’t have time, take home these cool facts about this magical creature:

  • While flying, their heart rate reaches up to 600 beats/minute
  • While sleeping, to conserve energy, its around 36 beats/minute
  • They are the only birds able to hover, fly backwards, and even upside down
  • Ensifera ensifera (picture above) is noted as the only species of bird to have a bill longer than the rest of its body. This adaptation is to feed on flowers with long corollas such as Passiflora mixta.

Thanks for reading, letUbeU!

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