Readers’ wildlife photographs

Why Evolution Is True

First we have several photographs of a lovely hummingbird taken by reader Joshua Lincoln:

This is the Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insigns). It is from Cerro de la Muerte in Costa Rica. Cerro de la Muerte means Mountain of Death. It is the highest point of the Inter-American Highway in Costa and for anyone who has driven a rental car very much there, the description is fairly accurate. [JAC: When I was taking an Organization for Tropical Studies ecology course in the summer of 1973, we visited this site, which became appropriately named in another way: about half the class contracted a bad stomach bug at Cerro de la Muerte, and many of us became incapacitated, lying like lox in the dormitory.]

The structural coloration (as opposed to pigment) of the hummingbird’s feathers becomes apparent when you see how light waves either add (strong reflection) or subtract (weak reflection) as they…

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