Birds are animals that have wings and the ability to fly. Ranging from 5 cm, birds come in all sizes and shapes.
They are feathered and many of them display vibrant colors and beautiful vocal varieties.
This is just the introduction to the species. There is a lot to know about birds and their habitats. Here we discuss 5 important facts about birds.
1. Birds Are Categorized Into 30 Groups
According to the biological classification of the animal kingdom, birds are classified into 34 orders, out of which 27 are living birds of today, 7 orders are fossil birds and 2 orders are extinct.
2. More Than 9865 Bird Species Have Been Identified So Far
Among the 9865 species of birds classified 7,735 are of least concern. More than 2000 species are either threatened or near threatened with extinction. 133 species are extinct and the status of 65 species cannot be determined due to lack of data.
3. The First Bird to Set Foot on Earth Was the Archaeopteryx
Archaeopteryx lithographica was the earliest bird known to mankind. It lived in the Jurassic era some 150 million years ago. It was a mix of avian and reptilian characteristics. It had wings and feathers but not the keel required for flight. So it is uncertain if the bird was really capable of flying or it could just glide. There are 10 archaeopteryx skeletons unearthed so far and the first one is known as the London Specimen and was discovered in 1861.
4. All Birds Have Feathers
Feathers are a unique feature common to all birds. They serve functions such as enabling flight, protection from sun, rain and wind. They contain oil in them and thus provide insulation and waterproofing to the birds. They also block the harmful UV rays from scorching the bird’s skin.
5. Birds Do Not Have Teeth
Unlike many other animals, birds do not have teeth. Instead they possess bills. These bills are made of a protein called keratin. Bills come in various shapes and sizes and are characteristic of the species to which the bird belongs, based on the type of food it consumes. For example short, cone-shaped bills are suited for birds like finches which feed on seeds. On the other hand, cranes and herons have long pointed bills to help them to catch fish.
So these were 5 important facts about birds which is an introduction to how birds differ from the other members of the animal kingdom.