Navigation Links
Hummingbirds catch flying bugs with the help of fast-closing beaks
Date:7/19/2011

Durham, NC The shape of a hummingbird's beak allows for a "controlled elastic snap" that allows it to snatch up flying insects in a mere fraction of a second with greater speed and power than could be achieved by jaw muscles alone, says a new study in a forthcoming issue of Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Hummingbird beaks are built to feed on flowers, but hummingbirds can't live on nectar alone. To get enough protein and nutrients they need to eat small insects too, said co-author Gregor Yanega of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, North Carolina.

"Hummingbirds need the equivalent of 300 fruit flies a day to survive," Yanega said.

But how can a long, slender bill so well suited for sipping nectar also be good at catching insects, and often in mid-air?

In 2004 in the journal Nature, Yanega and University of Connecticut biologist Margaret Rubega reported that part of the answer lies in the hummingbird's flexible bill. Using high speed video of three hummingbird species catching fruit flies, the researchers found that the hummingbird's bendy lower beak flexes by as much as 25 degrees when it opens, while also widening at the base to create a larger surface for catching insects.

While watching the ultrafast videos, however, Yanega also noticed something else: As soon as the hummingbird's beak is maximally bent, it suddenly springs back to its original position and snaps closed.

"Their beaks snap shut in less than a hundredth of a second," he explained. "It's fast."

Yanega teamed up with engineers Matthew Smith and Andy Ruina of Cornell University to unlock the secret to the hummingbird beak's sudden snap. Armed with data on the length, thickness, and density of the bones and muscles in the hummingbird's head, the researchers developed a mathematical model of the elastic energy in the beak from the time it flexes open to the time it snaps shut.

Part of the trick
'/>"/>

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
rsmith@nescent.org
919-668-4544
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. How hummingbirds fight the wind
2. Humpback whales catch prey with bubble-nets
3. NIST catch and release program could improve nanoparticle safety assessment
4. New models may reduce seabird bycatch
5. Internet catches updated butterfly and moth website
6. Arctic fisheries catches 75 times higher than previous reports: UBC research
7. Catch-up growth signals revealed
8. New research shows dolphin by-catch includes genetic relatives
9. Fishing fleet working 17 times harder than in 1880s to make same catch
10. Pitt pharmacologists go on a molecular fishing trip and hook prize catch
11. Catching calcium waves could provide Alzheimers insights
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/29/2014)... German . ... considered the oldest form of communication. Acting as messenger ... the sexual attraction between males and females. Fish rely ... reproductive behavior in males and females. Scientists at the ... in Faro, Portugal, and at the Max Planck Institute ...
(Date:8/29/2014)... them, fold them: modern materials that are light, flexible ... artificial skin or electronic paper. , Making such concepts ... a new way of working with copper nanowires and ... , Previous success in the field of ultra-lightweight "aerogel ... gold and silver nanowires. , By turning instead ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... Entomological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce ... Member of the Society. Honorary Membership acknowledges those who ... significant involvement in the affairs of the Society that ... are selected by the ESA Governing Board and then ... be honored at the Awards Ceremony at Entomology 2014, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Ready for mating at the right time 2Ready for mating at the right time 3Copper shines as flexible conductor 2Fred Baxendale selected as Honorary Member of the Entomological Society of America 2
... Philadelphia, PA, February 21, 2013 A new study ... Journal of Pathology suggests that cortical type 2 ... for cerebral ischemia. Researchers found that the ... of ischemia in both in vivo and in vitro ...
... materials work more efficiently when they are surrounded by ... chemists have now gleamed some initial answers from computer ... on the catalyst surface. "The catalyst and the water ... Marx, depicting the underlying complex charge transfer processes. His ...
... A lifelong diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit ... to new research from the University of Guelph. The ... , is believed to be the first to provide unequivocal ... finding," said David Ma, a professor in Guelph,s Department of ...
Cached Biology News:Activation of cortical type 2 cannabinoid receptors ameliorates ischemic brain injury 2When water speaks 2Omega-3s inhibit breast cancer tumor growth, study finds 2
(Date:8/28/2014)... 28, 2014 PrimeSource Building Products, ... selected SoundConnect to support their communication ... audio and web conferencing platform GlobalMeet powered by ... employees’ needs. SoundConnect delivers award winning “results ... Building Products will be utilizing GlobalMeet powered ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... NY (PRWEB) August 28, 2014 Whitehouse ... its long term partnership with PTI Inspection Systems ... clients with state of the art leak testing method ... the art instruments currently available. As part of this ... High Voltage Leak Detection Instrument developed and ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) August 27, 2014 ... $6 million in Series B funding and secured Otter ... and investment capital will accelerate commercialization of GGI’s Agriplier™ ... multiple crop types. , “Since our first meeting, ... commitment to the biological product space,” said Alan Sobba, ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... (PRWEB) August 27, 2014 In ... through Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC ... develop and deliver a state-of-the-art laser system for ... (ELI Beamlines), under construction in the Czech Republic. ... the laser system, called the " High repetition-rate ...
Breaking Biology Technology:PrimeSource Chooses SoundConnect as Collaboration Provider 2Whitehouse Labs Renews Partnership with PTI Inspection Systems 2Whitehouse Labs Renews Partnership with PTI Inspection Systems 3Green & Grow Inc. Secures $6M Series B Funding from Otter Capital 2Green & Grow Inc. Secures $6M Series B Funding from Otter Capital 3LLNL Synchs up with ELI Beamlines on Timing System 2LLNL Synchs up with ELI Beamlines on Timing System 3
... 17, 2012  ETEX Corporation, an advanced biomaterials company, ... Technology Community 8th Stem Cell Summit, April 19-20, ... MA. ETEX will highlight their cell carrier development ... & Partnering as well as Stem Cell Research ...
... COPENHAGEN and SEATTLE, April 16, 2012 CMC ... and respected for its technical excellence in ... most complex molecules (blood factors, coagulation factors, growth ... achievements are based on comprehensive analytical and characterization ...
... Cord Blood America, Inc . ( www.cordblood-america.com ) (OTC ... stem cell preservation company focused on bringing the ... internationally, today announced that revenues for 2011 increased 37 percent ... Company announced a gross profit increase in 2011 of $1.3 ...
Cached Biology Technology:ETEX Corporation to Present at GTC Stem Cell Summit 2CMC Biologics Highlights Technical Acumen at Upcoming Conferences 2CMC Biologics Highlights Technical Acumen at Upcoming Conferences 3CMC Biologics Highlights Technical Acumen at Upcoming Conferences 4CMC Biologics Highlights Technical Acumen at Upcoming Conferences 5Cord Blood America Revenues Up 37 Percent to $5.67 Million in 2011 2
... of an N-terminal FLAG® fusion and a ... from bicistronic mRNA. Two genes can ... transcription of a single message from the ... protein-protein interaction studies, multi-subunit proteins, and cloning ...
...
Mouse monoclonal antibody raised against a partial recombinant SCARB2. NCBI Entrez Gene ID = SCARB2...
Alpha-2-antiplasmin precursor (Alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor) (Alpha-2-PI) (Alpha-2-AP). [Source:Uniprot/SWISSPROT;Acc:P08697] Antigen: Recombinant Protein Epitope Signature Tag (PrEST)....
Biology Products: