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BIRDS - II Other Characteristics of Birds: B) Skeleton & Muscle 1) Skeleton combines lightness and strength 2) Bones are thin and hollow. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 11 September 2019
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Title: BIRDS - II

  • Other Characteristics of Birds

  • B) Skeleton Muscle
  • 1) Skeleton combines lightness and strength
  • 2) Bones are thin and hollow.

  • 3) Sternum breastbone
    is the attachment

    for flight muscles

Rock dove
  • 4) Furcula (wishbone)
    fused collarbones

  • 5) Flight involves complex muscle movement (in
    some birds the flight muscles account for 50 of
    the birds weight.)

Wing muscles
  • C) Metabolism Birds demonstrate endothermy
    (warm-blooded) which means they generate heat

  • D) Digestions No teeth, so they swallow food
    without chewing. Food passes into an enlarged
    portion of the esophagus called the crop, which
    stores and moistens food.

  • It then passes to the first part of the
    stomach called the proventriculus, where enzymes
    start to breakdown food.
  • It then passes to the gizzard which is the
    muscular portion of the stomach. It contains
    small stones, which the bird has swallowed, to
    help grind food.
  • It then passes to the small intestine where
    nutrients are absorbed.

  • E) Excretion of wastes Liquid wastes are not
    stored. Kidneys filter nitrogenous waste called
    uric acid from the blood. It travels to the
    cloaca where it mixes with undigested matter from
    the intestines and is then eliminated.

  • F) Respiration -highly efficient
  • 1) Birds use lungs and air sacs (which also
    decrease density)
  • 2) Air sacs extend into long bones

  • G) Circulatory System
  • 1) pulmonary systemic circulation
  • 2) 4-chambered heart ostrich heart beat 70
    beats a minute hummingbird heart beats 600 times
    a minute chickadee heart beats 1000 times a
  • 3) Bird red blood cells have nuclei

bird heart model
(No Transcript)
  • H) Nervous System Sense Organs
  • 1) large brains for their size
  • a) highly developed areas to control
    flight-related functions such as the cerebellum,
    which controls movement

  • 2) Very good vision
  • a) necessary for taking off landing and
    spotting prey.
  • b) good color vision.

  • All About Foveae
  • The fovea is a teeny central patch about a
    millimeter across in the center of the retina of
    your eye. In the fovea, rods and cones are packed
    way more densely together than over the rest of
    the retina. (This close-packing is achieved in
    part by making the rods cones smaller.)
  • The increased density of receptors allows for
    the formation of a sharper image. Its always the
    focus of our vision, which is the reason why
    things are always clearest when we center our
    field of vision on them.

  • Of all the mammals, only primates have Foveae.
    And specifically only Simian primates, which
    means just monkeys and apes. So just like we have
    better color vision than pretty much all other
    mammals (we in this case being us and our
    ape/monkey cousins) we also have the only foveal
    vision among the mammals.
  • Second, just as birds blow us away in color
    vision, they similarly trounce us in foveal
    vision. Birds (and many reptiles) do have foveae,
    and the foveae of birds are packed way more
    densely with cones and rods than are human
    foveae, Our foveae have about 200,000 receptors
    per square millimeter. A hawks foveae have
    around 1,500,000 receptors per square millimeter.

Red-Tail Hawk
  • But lots of birds eyes have a second fovea,
    positioned to provide foveal vision outside of
    the forward-facing binocular field. This is
    monocular foveal vision and it greatly helps
    birds such as hawks and eagles identify motion
    and prey in their peripheral field of vision as
    well as judge speed and distance- both their own
    and that of things theyre watching/chasing.

  • c) birds with eyes on the side of their head have
    a wide field of view, while those with eyes near
    the front have good binocular vision to perceive
    depth of field.

  • 3) Hearing important to songbirds and owls
    (use sound to locate prey)

4) Sense of smell is well-developed.
  • Bird noses are structurally quite similar to the
    general vertebrate plan, and many ornithologists
    have noted that different bird groups emit
    surprisingly strong scents. In other vertebrates,
    odors function in numerous social situations that
    involve an exchange of information between
    members of the same species. This can be as
    straightforward as a dog marking its territory,
    or perhaps more complex, such as two animals
    displaying while they simultaneously assess the
    odor of a prospective mate.

Assistant Professor of Biology Julie Hagelin,
  • I) Reproductive System
  • Testes in males produces sperm that travels by
    the vas deferens to cloaca
  • Females have single ovary that makes eggs
  • Eggs are fertilized in the oviducts
  • Shell added by shell gland then egg moves into 
  • In mating, male presses cloaca to female to
    transfer sperm (internal fertilization)

Amniote bird egg
chalaza turns embryo toward mothers warmth
J) Care of Young
  • 1) Precocial birds are active as soon as they
    hatch (ducks, quails,etc.)

  • 2) Altricial birds blind and naked after
    hatching and are helpless they depend on parents
    for several weeks.

  • K) Migration seasonal movement of some bird
    species to exploit spring and summer resources in
    temperate regions.

Geese Flocking to Mexico
L) Bird Vocalizations
  • A songbird is a bird belonging to the suborder
    Passeri of the perching birds (order
    Passeriformes about 4000 species)
  • Uses a vocal organ to produce a diverse and
    elaborate bird song.
  • There is evidence to suggest that songbirds
    evolved about 50 million years
  • This 'bird song' is essentially territorial in
    that it communicates the identity and whereabouts
    of an individual to other birds and also signals
    sexual intentions. It is not to be confused with
    bird calls, which are used for alarms and
    contact, and are especially important in birds
    that feed or migrate in flocks. While almost all
    living birds give calls of some sort,
    well-developed songs are only given by a few
    lineages outside the songbirds.

  • Birds Using Tools - The Galapagos woodpecker
    finch grasps a cactus spine in its beak and pries
    grubs out of a branch.  The finch then drops the
    cactus spine and holds it under its foot while
    eating the grub.  The cactus spine is carried
    from branch to branch for reuse.

  • A predatory songbird, the Northern Shrike
    breeds in taiga and tundra and winters in
    southern Canada and the northern United States.
    It feeds on small birds, mammals, and insects,
    sometimes impaling them on spines or barbed wire

  • It can kill its prey by impaling them on
    thorns or wedging them between branches. It
    cannot hold onto prey with its feet, so it is
    easier to use a thorn or similar structure to
    hold prey as it eats.

Impaled insects
An impaled chameleon.
An impaled mouse
A bird wedged at the neck.