Sunday, 10 June 2012

Birds and insects in science news

It was an odd coincidence of posts that caught my eye:
Birds Ended Reign of Giant Insects

“Maximum insect size does track oxygen surprisingly well as it goes up and down for about 200 million years,” said lead author Dr Matthew Clapham, an assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California. “Then right around the end of the Jurassic and beginning of the Cretaceous period, about 150 million years ago, all of a sudden oxygen goes up but insect size goes down. And this coincides really strikingly with the evolution of birds.”
Okay, a suggestion that predation by early birds drove insect size down. This on the same day as Jerry Coyne posted a report from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s facebook page:
Mantid noms hummingbird (Note: nom = eat)

I was in the area of contact, when I saw the gardener emerald hummingbird taking nectar from the golden trumpets (Tecoma stans (L.) Juss. Ex Kunth), near the Hummingbird, was two birdwatchers trying to identify it. I said the species and then see how the mantis caught a hummingbird at first thought he had tangled with the same plant. I looked for a ladder, because the height was 3 meters (approximately) when subject to the hummingbird, I feel something I press the index finger, I thought it was a snake, but in looking good, I saw the mantis as holding the hummingbird’s neck I tore through his chest. I proceeded to search the camera and take some pictures. Neither visitors nor I believed what we were seeing. The mantis will eat only certain organs and released it.

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