Hawkmoth Slows Brain To Find Food At Dusk

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Hawkmoth Slows Brain To Find Food At Dusk

The hawkmoth feeds by inserting a proboscis into a flower and drinking its nectar, a task that is complicated given lower light levels at dusk.

Now scientists have studied the visual abilities which make feeding time easier for the hawkmoth. A team of researchers spent months studying the hawkmoths in order to find out how the moths manage to eat, writes James Gorman for The New York Times.

Feeding time made easier by slower visual processing

The difficulties are summed up Georgia Tech scientist Simon Sponberg, who said that a hawkmoth has to hover “while they’re feeding from a flower with a proboscis that can be as long as their body while the flower is moving in the wind.”

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In order to do so successfully, they need to be able to see the flower clearly in a situation with “light levels at which we’d have trouble seeing the hand in front of our face,” continued Dr. Sponberg.