Hummingbird metabolism is a marvel of evolutionary engineering. Hummingbirds can power all of their energetic hovering flight by burning the sugar contained in the floral nectar of their diet.
Now new research from the University of Toronto Scarborough shows they are equally adept at burning both glucose and fructose, which are the individual components of sugar; a unique trait other vertebrates cannot achieve."Hummingbirds have an optimal fuel-use strategy that powers their high-energy lifestyle, maximizes fat storage, and minimizes unnecessary weight gain all at the same time," says Kenneth Welch, assistant professor of biological sciences at UTSC and an expert on hummingbirds.
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