Do you know that birds adapt according to their environment and perform their best to survive? One of the marvellous features of a bird is its beak. While having many functions, the beak also adapts as the environment changes.
Why Is Beak Important For Adaptation?
The most common use of a beak is to drink sweet nectar from flowers. The needle-like beak is best suited for sipping delicious nectar from the flowers. The shape of the beak depends on the type of flower they feed on.
Now, this is the tricky part. Many flowers have their nectar buried inside them, and a bird has to dig deep to get it. Over time, the beak starts to evolve accordingly.
The beak has developed in size and shape to get better access to the flower. The hummingbird is a remarkable example of such an adaptation. Its beak structure has evolved because of the long adaptation process. Dependency of flowers and beaks on each other
The new era of research has found that two dependent species influence each other in the process of evolution. In this, two dependent species adapt themselves to the survival of their species.
The male hummingbird has a shorter, straight beak. Whereas, the female hummingbird is known to have a 30% longer and sharply curved beak.
This adaptation can be explained by the dependency of hummingbirds on Heliconia plants. This plant grows into two distinctive types. While one is a short and straightforward form, best suitable for male hummingbirds, the other has a more complex structure, ideal for female hummingbirds.
Many other types of hummingbirds adapt their beaks, which allows them to drink easily from the flowers they prefer. Similarly, the flower species also start producing nectar specifically for the hummingbird and keep other insects, such as bees, away.
This is a mutually beneficial process, and plants also profit from this relationship. In return for producing sweet nectar for the hummingbird, they book a regular carrier to transfer pollen grains, which is called pollination. This is important for the reproduction of the plants to continue their species. #plantSciencefacts
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