Scientists have discovered that hawkmoths - which feed on nectar in the dark - slow down their brains in order to be able to see in the dark better.

Using robotic, nectar-emitting flowers, the researchers were able to record the moths using infrared cameras as they hovered over the flowers to feed. The robotic flowers swayed back and forth to simulate the effects of wind.

This could be an important discovery for robotics, an industry that often looks toward animal behavior for inspiration. “If we want to have robots or machine vision systems that are working under this broad range of conditions, understanding how these moths function under these varying light conditions would be very useful,” says Simon Sponberg, the study's lead author.

Cover image: YouTube