Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

The tooth-billed hummingbird’s combat moves

Watch more with these video collections:

When it comes to nectar, the hummingbird is notorious for its highly competitive nature. “Their high-energy lifestyle compels hummingbirds to locate reliable food resources” and then to defend them once found. In the forests of western Colombia, this need to compete has reshaped tooth-billed hummingbird beaks into “strong, sharp and dangerous weapons”.

The males use their bills to stab other males, and to fence — feinting and parrying, sometimes knocking the other bird off a perch. Some hummingbirds even have hooked beaks, with serrations that look like shark’s teeth. Dr. Rico-Guevara’s high-speed video shows males tearing out another bird’s feathers with those grippers.

James Gorman shares the research and an up-close look at this ‘tooth’-filled beak in The Hummingbird as Warrior: Evolution of a Fierce and Furious Beak, a Science Take article and video from The New York Times.

tooth-filled hummingbird beak
Watch these next: Hummingbird Battleground in the Talamanca Mountains and UCLA’s Hummingbird Whisperer.

Plus, watch more videos about evolution: Why Dogs Have Floppy Ears, an animated tale, evidence of evolution that you can find on your body, and Evolution 101 & how natural selection works.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

This video was posted 4 years ago.

Watch more videos about...