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When Is a Moth Like a Hummingbird?

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Published on Jul 26, 2013

A hawk moth (Manduca sexta) feeds by hovering in front of flowers and slurping nectar through a proboscis, basically a body-length straw. To understand how these moths keep such a precise position in the air, Tyson Hedrick, a biomechanist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tried destabilizing moths in a variety of different ways and tracked their responses using high speed cameras.

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