Presentation on theme: "The Brains on Birds. Tundra Biome Cold biome that averages –10 degrees Celsius, 14 degrees Fahrenheit, where the soil remains frozen year round in what’s."— Presentation transcript:
Tundra Biome Cold biome that averages –10 degrees Celsius, 14 degrees Fahrenheit, where the soil remains frozen year round in what’s called permafrost. Treeless in arctic regions or high mountaintops. Plant life, consisting of dwarf woody plants, grasses, and lichens, is restricted to a growing season of ~60 days. Arctic animals include mammals like caribou, musk ox, polar bear, and many migratory birds, which fly south during winter.
Class Aves 9000 species Characteristics: Birds are uniform in structure, due to the necessities of flight, but diverse in lifestyle. Forelimbs are modified into wings and hind limbs are adapted to walking, swimming, or perching.
Characteristics continued… All birds have a toothless beak and lay eggs, which are internally fertilized. Birds are endothermic or warm blooded, which means they can maintain a constant body temperature independent of environment.
Flight Birds have well developed brains and nervous system necessary for flight, which also allows complex social behavior. Feathers are an exclusive characteristic of birds, which provide large surface areas for lift with very low weight. The skeletal system has hollow bones laced with air cavities for maximum strength with low weight. Birds have muscular mound for a tail, which controls the tail feathers for steering in flight.
Fun Fact: Largest Bird in World Dr. Kenneth E. Campbell discovered the 25 ft. wingspan of Argentavis magnificens. The feather size from such a bird is estimated to have been 1.5 meters long (60 inches); and 20 centimeters wide (8 inches). It lived six million years ago during the Miocene period throughout Argentina.
What??!!! However, even though this bird’s muscles were well- developed, they still were not sufficient to generate enough lift for the giant bird to leave the ground. So how did this, the largest of all birds, fly?
How did it fly? They confirmed that the now-extinct Argentavis magnificens was actually a high-performance glider, soaring on thermals and updrafts just as vultures and birds of prey do now. Apparently, Argentavis relied on updrafts in the foothills of the Andes, known as thermals, which are columns of heated air that are deflected upward over a ridge or a cliff. Thermals provide lift for small aircraft as well as for soaring birds, such as modern-day condors, eagles and storks. It’s likely that Argentavis circled upwards on a thermal and then soared from one thermal to another over long distances in what the researchers refer to as “slope soaring”. Even though the bird’s huge wingspan gave it a 100-foot turning radius, this was small enough that it could continue circling within a thermal as it rose high above the plains to search for its prey.
Birds of Prey Owls have adaptations including larges eyes and disk-like faces to heighten their sense of hearing for night hunting. Hawks, falcons and eagles have sharp talons and hooked beaks for killing and tearing a variety of prey from rodents and snakes to fish. The Turkey vulture is a scavenging carnivore common in Alabama, with adaptations such as a featherless head and sense of smell for finding carrion.
Aquatic Birds Many oceanic birds such as the Albatross have long narrow wings adapted to take advantage of wind for soaring. Shorebirds such as Terns and Seagulls take on large migrations with their swept wings for high-speed flight. Penguins and Cormorants have adapted themselves to swimming and specialize in catching fish.
Freshwater Aquatics Common in Alabama’s lakes, ponds, and rivers Ducks, Geese and swans adapt to swimming and diving with webbed feet and a watertight coating of oil. Long legged waders such as Herons, Egrets and Cranes walk along the shallows in search of crustaceans and small fish they spear with their bills. Kingfishers are often seen fishing by hovering over water to locate fish and then capturing prey with a dramatic vertical dive into the water.
Song Birds The songs of the birds in this group such as the common Bluebird are used to mark territory. Many songbirds such as Finches & Chickadees are successful in disturbed habitats. This group includes species familiar to the backyard feeders and birdbaths such as the Blue jay, Robin, and Mockingbird. Hummingbirds include the smallest birds and are important pollinators.
Ground Nesters Many familiar game birds such as Quails & Pheasants are difficult to detect due to camouflage. Prairie Chickens of the Great Plains are known for their elaborate courtship dances and plumage displays.
Ground Nesters The Roadrunner of the southwest is a crow- sized predator of snakes and lizards. Benjamin Franklin once suggested the Wild Turkey as our national bird, when he pointed out that Bald Eagles are mostly carrion eaters.
Tree Nesters Parrots and parakeets popular in the pet trade are unique in having a hinged upper beak, which they use for fruits and cracking nuts. Hornbills of Asia and Africa are so serious about parenting that the male wall up the female in a tree cavity and feeds her for the duration of the eggs incubation. Woodpeckers in the Americas are cavity nesters with specialized bills designed to hammer insect larvae from decaying trees.
Flightless Birds The Ostrich of Africa, Rhea of South America and Emus of Australia are savanna birds ranging from the 9 feet 350 pound Ostrich to Rheas at 3 feet and 50 pounds. All eat mostly plants, fruits nuts. Cassowaries are seed eating forest birds of Australia and the south Asian islands. The Kiwi of New Zealand has the distinction of having the largest egg to size of the body of any bird.