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The Amazing Hummingbird Hawk Moth

January 24, 2010
Be sure to see the video at the end.
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You hear a humming sound
closer inspection would reveal a surprising lack of avian characteristics and you would be forced to re-assess the situation. With no legs or claws – and certainly no beak what you have here is a moth.  No ordinary moth either – just take a look at that tongue, that isn’t actually a tongue.

This elongated organ is for sucking
and it is also known as a haustellum

So why do these moths look – and act like real hummingbirds?  Scientists think that this may well be a case of convergent evolution.   This is when an identical biological trait is acquired in completely unrelated lineages.   This can happen when two species occupy a similar or the same ecological niche – one that demands a distinct way of life to facilitate survival.  Birds and bats would be a fine example.  However the flying action of the Hummingbird Hawk Moth came about, one thing is sure.  The sight of one as it goes about its business of feeding is one that is never forgotten.

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