Male hummingbirds go for the throat, attack it with beak as they fight for a female, a new study says. They have long and slender beaks, which are sharp and attack wildly. Male hummingbirds hence use them as weapons to find a mate, when reaching their age.
There is history behind it says Alejandro Rico-Guevara of the University of Connecticut who is a researcher in evolutionary biology. “Historically, bird beaks have been the prime example of adaptation through natural selection, such as in the textbook example of Darwin’s finches. But we show here the first evidence that bills are also being shaped by sexual selection through male-male combat,” he says.
He also exclaims that it is exciting to think of all these forces working on the way animals look, and to think about how they might affect males and females differently. “I think people initially think of them as beautiful, delicate creatures,” he says, “but I enjoy revealing their pugnacious attitudes.”
In the process of the research, they compared the sizes and sharpness of the beaks, and also checked as to how deep they could puncture and penetrate. They are very aggressive birds though they look tiny. It is when they are transitioning into adulthood that the males start mating, and make use of developed beaks to kill rivals. The report was published in journal Behavioral Ecology.