Visitors   Views   Downloads

Relating form to function in the hummingbird feeding apparatus

View preprint
758 days ago
Relating form to function in the hummingbird feeding apparatus
peerJ: Relating form to function in the hummingbird feeding apparatus
"PeerJ Preprints" is a venue for early communication or feedback before peer review. Data may be preliminary.

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

View peer-reviewed version

Supplemental Information

Supplementary Information

Legends in the file

DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2986v1/supp-1

Video S1. MicroCT rendering (rostro-cranial coronal cross sectioning) of the bill and tongue of an Anna’s Hummingbird, overlaying TEM micrographs

This virtual model of the internal three-dimensional architecture help us to understand the fit between bill and tongue. Additionally, merging microCT, light, and electron microscopy allows us to understand the key morphological features for the tongue functioning linking them across spatial scales. Known objects are placed at the same scale at the different zoom levels in order to contextualize the structures shown.

DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2986v1/supp-2

Video S2. Control of the setup to film post-mortem tongue fluid interactions

Under a dissecting microscope (cf. Fig S2), this control system emulates reciprocating tongue movements and allows for fine control of the distance to the nectar surface using micromanipulators. I coupled a high-speed camera to capture the details of tongue fluid interactions (e.g. Video S3).

DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2986v1/supp-3

Video S3. High-speed recording of post-mortem tongue expansive filling

A slow motion (165 times slower than real time) video of the lateral view of a dissected Ruby-throated Hummingbird focusing on the bill tip – tongue – nectar interaction. The tongue protraction is controlled by micromanipulators (Video S2). Footage obtained under a dissecting microscope (cf. Fig S2) with a flat surface mirror to achieve the side view.

DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2986v1/supp-4

Video S4. Recording of post-mortem tongue fluid trapping

A real-time video of the dorsal view of a deceased Ruby-throated Hummingbird focusing on the bill tip – tongue – nectar interaction. Footage obtained under a dissecting microscope immersing the tongue in a nectar reservoir to appreciate the instantaneous change in shape when the tongue transitions form air (out of focus) to nectar (in focus) and vice versa.

DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2986v1/supp-5

Video S5. Three-dimensional digital rendering of a microCT scan of the skull of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This spinning reconstruction makes it possible to follow and visualize the elongated epibranchials surrounding the skull. In this case, the tongue is retracted inside the bill.

DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2986v1/supp-6

Additional Information

Competing Interests

The author declares that he has no competing interests.

Author Contributions

Alejandro Rico-Guevara conceived and designed the experiments, performed the experiments, analyzed the data, contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools, wrote the paper, prepared figures and/or tables, reviewed drafts of the paper.

Animal Ethics

The following information was supplied relating to ethical approvals (i.e., approving body and any reference numbers):

Activities were reviewed and authorized by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Connecticut.

Data Deposition

The following information was supplied regarding data availability:

The raw data is included in the figures in the manuscript and in the supplemental files.


This study was funded by the American Ornithologists’ Union, the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Connecticut, and the Miller Institute. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Add your feedback

Before adding feedback, consider if it can be asked as a question instead, and if so then use the Question tab. Pointing out typos is fine, but authors are encouraged to accept only substantially helpful feedback.

Some Markdown syntax is allowed: _italic_ **bold** ^superscript^ ~subscript~ %%blockquote%% [link text](link URL)
By posting this you agree to PeerJ's commenting policies