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Hummingbird Males All A-Flutter During Courtship
2011-09-09 05:29:31

How the fluttering feathers of some hummingbird species generate courtship sounds [ View the Video ] Though famous for their mid-air hovering during hunting, tiny hummingbirds have another trait that is literally telltale: males of some hummingbird species generate loud sounds with their tail feathers while courting females. Now, for the first time, the cause of these sounds has been identified: a paper published in the Sep. 9, 2011 issue of Science by Christopher Clark of Yale...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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