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Information about JO_Birds

Published on February 9, 2009

Author: dawnguy


Characteristics of Birds : Characteristics of Birds Jerit Owens Feathers : Feathers Birds are the only living organisms with feathers. Feathers are lightweight, modified scales. Feathers aid in insulation and in flight. Birds preen their feathers with their beaks. Some birds rub oil on their feathers from an oil gland near their tail to water proof them. Feathers continued : Feathers continued Birds molt when feathers wear out. All feathers are not lost at once. Feathers are usually lost in pairs to maintain balance. Wings : Wings Modified front limbs are wings, mostly used for flight. Flight muscles are attached to the sternum. The sternum supports the thrust and power produced by the muscles during flight. Flight Requires Energy : Flight Requires Energy Flight requires a lot of energy. Birds have a four chambered heart to pump oxygenated blood to the tissues quickly. Chickadees hearts beat about 1000 times per minute due to need of oxygen to make energy. Birds have air sacs that allow them in inhale oxygen when they inhale and exhale. Flight Requires Energy (cont’d) : Flight Requires Energy (cont’d) A bird has lungs and anterior and posterior air sacs. The air passes through a series of air sacs to achieve the maximum amount of oxygen needed. Birds are Endotherms : Birds are Endotherms Birds can maintain homeostasis without relying on the temperatures of its environment. Feathers help save heat by trapping air in layers under their down feathers. Birds will flatten their feathers and open their wings when they are hot. Panting also helps reduce body heat. Endotherms (cont’d) : Endotherms (cont’d) Being endothermic allows birds to live everywhere. However, birds have to eat lots of food to maintain high levels of energy. Reproduction : Reproduction Birds show internal fertilization and lay amniotic eggs in nests. Bird eggs have a hard outer covering. Bird nests can be made of twigs and grass, or just an indention scratched into the soil. Unlike reptiles birds incubate their eggs by sitting on them. Reproduction (cont’d) : Reproduction (cont’d) Birds must turn their eggs so that the young develop properly. In some species both parents take turns incubating. In others only one parent incubates. The species of birds can be determined by the shape, size, and colors of their eggs.

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