their hearts sludging nearly to a halt, barely beating, and if they are not soon warmed, ifthey do not soon find that which is sweet, their hearts grow cold, and they cease to be.Consider for a moment those hummingbirds who did not open their eyes again today, thisvery day, in the Americas: bearded helmet-crests and booted racket-tails, violet-tailedsylphs and violet-capped woodnymphs, crimson topazes and purple-crowned fairies, red-tailed comets and amethyst woodstars, rainbow-bearded thornbills and glittering-bellied emeralds, velvet-purple coronets and golden-bellied star-frontlets, fiery-tailed
2/18/2020The American Scholar: Joyas Voladoras - <a href=''>Brian Doyle</a>3/5awlbills and Andean hillstars, spatuletails and pufﬂegs, each the most amazing thing youhave never seen, each thunderous wild heart the size of an infant’s fingernail, each madheart silent, a brilliant music stilled.Hummingbirds, like all ﬂying birds but more so, have incredible enormous immenseferocious metabolisms. To drive those metabolisms they have race-car hearts that eatoxygen at an eye-popping rate. Their hearts are built of thinner, leaner fibers than ours.Their arteries are stiffer and more taut. They have more mitochondria in their heartmuscles—anything to gulp more oxygen. Their hearts are stripped to the skin for the waragainst gravity and inertia, the mad search for food, the insane idea of ﬂight. The price oftheir ambition is a life closer to death; they suffer more heart attacks and aneurysms andruptures than any other living creature. It’s expensive to ﬂy. You burn out. You fry themachine. You melt the engine. Every creature on earth has approximately two billionheartbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise and live to be
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Humpback whale, Brian Doyle, Blue Whale, Fin whale, Minke whale, Joyas Voladoras