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

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According to (This article and its images were originally posted on NYT > Science February 5, 2019 at 07:51AM.)

If you want to know what makes hummingbirds tick, it’s best to avoid most poetry about them.

Bird-beam of the summer day,

— Whither on your sunny way?

Whither? Probably off to have a bloodcurdling fight, that’s whither.

John Vance Cheney wrote that verse, but let’s not point fingers. He has plenty of poetic company, all seduced by the color, beauty and teeny tininess of the hummingbird but failed to notice the ferocity burning in its rapidly beating heart.

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.

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This article and images were originally posted on [NYT > Science] February 5, 2019 at 07:51AM. Credit to the original author and NYT > Science | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day.

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