Photos by Barry Wallace
Study says 'hummers' not born with sweet tooth
Jessica Ramos writing on the Care2 website says that according to National Geographic magazine, hummingbirds don't have a sweet taste receptor, like most birds. However, a new study in Science says that the tiny birds outsmarted evolution by "re-purposing" their umami receptor - the evolutionary receptor responsible for identifying savory meat flavours - to taste and enjoy sweet nectar. It was never meant to be for hummers to have a sweet tooth but the determined birds made it come about. Now they are meat-eaters and nectar-sippers. Future plans are to determine if all species of hummingbirds have undergone this evolutionary adaptation. Have two diets given hummingbirds any evolutionary advantage? Well they have grown to 300 species in the Americas
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