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Watch: Hummingbird tongues are tiny pumps

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Hummingbird tongues are tiny pumps that suck up nectar—not merely passive strawlike structures as long thought, new research suggests. In a few studies of lab-reared hummers, scientists noted that the birds sometimes used capillary action—the tendency of a liquid to be pulled into a narrow space, even upward against gravity—to draw nectar into the long hollow tips of their cylindrical tongues.

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