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Birds (Class: Aves). Birds apparently evolved from reptiles during the Jurassic. The oldest known bird (Archaeopteryx) resembled reptiles in limb bones and other features. Birds still resemble reptiles: horny beaks, scaly legs, and egg-laying. Digestion of Birds.

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Birds class aves
Birds (Class: Aves)

  • Birds apparently evolved from reptiles

    during the Jurassic.

    • The oldest known bird (Archaeopteryx)

      resembled reptiles inlimb bones and other features.

    • Birds still resemble reptiles: horny beaks, scaly legs, and egg-laying.


Digestion of birds
Digestion of Birds

  • Digestive system is often subdivided into functional regions

  • Specialization reflects feeding behavior

  • Video link

  • http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/birddigestion.html


Digestive tract specializations
Digestive Tract Specializations

  • Crop: in most birds; provides storage (largest in seed eaters); can produce “milk” containing fat & protein, but lacks sugar of mammalian milk. Production is stimulated by prolactin as in mammals.

Buccal cavity

esophagus

crop

proventriculus

gizzard

pylorus

Small intestine

Large intestine

cloaca

vent


Digestive tract specializations1
Digestive Tract Specializations

  • Proventriculus: contains acids and enzymes.

  • Gizzard: often contains small pebbles or grit and is thick and muscular for grinding food.

Buccal cavity

esophagus

crop

proventriculus

gizzard

pylorus

Small intestine

Large intestine

cloaca

vent


Prey capture
Prey Capture

  • Prey are captured primarily with beaks and feet.

  • Raptors rely on talons to catch prey – not beaks!

  • Beaks are toothless,

    preventing any

    processing in the

    mouth


Bill adaptations
Bill Adaptations

  • Insectivores

    • Perched Feeders: typically have short, thin, pointed bills (tweezer-like) for seizing insects.

    • Aerial Feeders: typically have short, weak beaks and a wide gape.


Bill adaptations1
Bill Adaptations

  • Mud Sifters like Flamingos and Dabbling Ducks use their tongues and bills for prey capture. Both structures have horny projections (lamellae) and sensory corpuscles to scoop up water & mud and filter out the prey items.


Bill adaptations2
Bill Adaptations

  • Carnivorous Birds like ravens

    and roadrunners have heavy

    beaks to kill prey.

  • Raptors like eagles,

    owls, falcons, and

    hawks use their

    talons to catch prey,

    but have a sharply

    hooked beak to tear off chunks of flesh. In addition, falcons have a tomial tooth (sharp projection from the upper mandible matching a notch in the lower mandible.


Bill adaptations3
Bill Adaptations

  • Seed Crackers like cardinals have stout, heavy bills.

  • Fish eaters like pelicans, mergansers, and anhingas, have pouches, hooks, serrations, or spear-like bills to kill and grasp fish.


Bill adaptations4
Bill Adaptations

  • Seed Pryers like crossbills use the diverging ends of their bill to pry seeds out of pine cones.

  • Hammering is a technique used by chickadees and woodpeckers


Bill adaptations5
Bill Adaptations

  • Strainers like shovelers and spoonbills use widened bills and tongues to strain small particles out of water and mud. They are also considered mud sifters.


Bill adaptations6
Bill Adaptations

  • Probers like many shore birds have extremely long thin bills. Some of them are able to flex their bills backward (skull kinesis) to grasp crabs and other invertebrates from holes in mud or sand.


Bill adaptations7
Bill Adaptations

  • Nectar Drinkers like humingbirds and honeycreepers have long slender downward curving bills to fit into flowers. They also have extremely long tongues that actually coil upward over the skull (hyroid apparatus) with hair-like projections at the tip to allow nectar to adhere to it.


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