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Bird diversityScientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
(unranked) Archosauria
Class: Aves – Linnaeus, 1758

Birds are bipedal, warm-blooded, oviparous vertebrate animals characterized mainly by feathers, forelimbs modified as wings, and (in most) hollow bones.

Birds variety in size in the tiny hummingbirds towards the massive Ostrich and Emu. Based on the taxonomic viewpoint, you will find about eight,800-10,200 living bird species (and about 120-130 which have turn out to be extinct within the span of human history) on the planet, creating them probably the most diverse class of terrestrial vertebrates.

Birds feed on nectar, plants, seeds, insects, fish, mammals, carrion, or other birds.

Most birds are diurnal, or active throughout the day, but some birds, like the owls and nightjars, are nocturnal or crepuscular (active throughout twilight hours), and numerous coastal waders feed when the tides are suitable, by day or evening.

Numerous birds migrate lengthy distances to utilise optimum habitats (e.g., Arctic Tern) whilst other people invest nearly all their time at sea (e.g. the Wandering Albatross). Some, like Typical Swifts, remain aloft for days at a time, even sleeping around the wing.

Typical traits of birds consist of a bony beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, higher metabolic price, a 4-chambered heart, along with a light but powerful skeleton. Most birds are characterised by flight, although the ratites are flightless, and a number of other species, especially on islands, have also lost this capability. Flightless birds consist of the penguins, ostrich, kiwi, and also the extinct Dodo. Flightless species are vulnerable to extinction when humans or the mammals they introduce arrive in their habitat. The Fantastic Auk, flightless rails, and also the moa of New Zealand, for instance, all became extinct because of human influence.

Birds are amongst probably the most extensively studied of all animal groups. A huge selection of academic journals and a large number of scientists are devoted to bird study, whilst amateur enthusiasts (known as birdwatchers or, much more generally, birders) most likely quantity within the millions.

High-level taxonomy

Birds are categorised as a biological class, Aves. The earliest recognized species of this class is Archaeopteryx lithographica, in the Late Jurassic period. Based on probably the most current consensus, Aves along with a sister group, the order Crocodilia, with each other type a group of unnamed rank, the Archosauria.

Phylogenetically, Aves is generally defined as all descendants from the most current typical ancestor of contemporary birds (or of a particular contemporary bird species like Passer domesticus), and Archaeopteryx. Contemporary phylogenies location birds within the dinosaur clade Theropoda.

Contemporary birds are divided into two superorders, the Paleognathae (mainly flightless birds like ostriches), and also the wildly diverse Neognathae, containing all other birds.

Bird anatomy

Birds possess a physique strategy that shows a lot of uncommon adaptations (mainly aiding flight) that birds have earned their very own distinctive class within the vertebrate phylum.

Threats to birds

Based on Worldwatch Institute, bird populations are declining worldwide, with 1,200 species facing extinction within the subsequent century. Amongst the greatest cited factors are habitat loss, predation by nonnative species, oil spills and pesticide use, hunting and fishing, and climate alter.


To preen or groom their feathers, birds use their bills to brush away foreign particles.

The birds of a area are known as the avifauna.

Couple of birds use chemical defences against predators. Tubenoses can eject an unpleasant oil against an aggressor, and a few species of pitohui, discovered in New Guinea, secrete a potent neurotoxin in their skin and feathers.

The Latin word for bird is avis.

Image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bird_Diversity_2011.png

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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