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Video Shows Secret of Hummingbird Mating Success: Shake the Tail Feathers

Thu, 09/08/2011 - 10:21am
Yale UniversityYale University

New Haven, Conn. — The courtship songs of the male Anna's hummingbird are produced by his tail feathers during a steep aerial dive nearby the object of his affection. Now Yale University scientists show that the song — and therefore the mating success of the hummingbird — depends upon the exact aerodynamic relationship of two of the bird's outer tail feathers. In the Sept. 9 issue of the journal Science, Yale scientists use high-speed video in wind tunnels and animation to show how exactly how the feathers act upon each other to produce this song of love.

Video of the research is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPaVjhUsdAw.

Yale authors of the paper are Christopher J. Clark and Richard O. Prum.

 

 

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