This month, lab members Ilias Berberi, Lauren Miner and I travelled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a research trip to the LSU Museum of Natural Sciences.
LSU is renowned for its tremendous collection of tropical birds from South and Central America. We were there to collect measures of skeletal traits related to flight. This project will allow us to study the evolution of flight performance and how it is shaped by social behaviour.
Lauren, Ilias and I were an amazing team! We measured 589 hummingbirds in just a few days. Once we got up to speed, our record was churning through 167 hummingbird skeletons in a single day. This has to be a world record – I don’t think anyone else has measured that many hummingbird skeletons ever, let alone in a single day.
We easily reached our goal of measuring all of the hummingbird species in the collection, and had enough time to collect data from their manakin collection (Pipridae) as well.
Very excited about these projects! We are very grateful to Steve Cardiff and curator Nick Mason at LSU for their warm welcome and all of their help in the collection.
Photos by Lauren Miner, Ilias Berberi and Roz Dakin.