Hummingbirds Fuel Hovering Flight with Newly Ingested Sugar
We sought to characterize the ability of hummingbirds to fuel their energetically expensive hovering flight using dietary sugar by a combination of respirometry and stable carbon isotope techniques. Broadtailed hummingbirds (Selasphorus platycercus) were maintained on a diet containing beet sugar with an isotopic composition characteristic of C3 plants. Hummingbirds were fasted and then offered a solution containing cane sugar with an isotopic composition characteristic of C4 plants. By monitoring the rates of CO2 production and O-2 consumption, as well as the stable carbon isotope composition ...
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