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Birds. Birds. Evolved from reptiles Some groups are: waterfowl, shorebirds, birds of prey, game birds, songbirds, and penguins Feathers are modified from scales Feet are covered in scales Hollow bones – some fused b/c tendons weigh more (penguins don’t have hollow bones – why?). Birds.

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  • Evolved from reptiles
  • Some groups are: waterfowl, shorebirds, birds of prey, game birds, songbirds, and penguins
  • Feathers are modified from scales
  • Feet are covered in scales
  • Hollow bones – some fused b/c tendons weigh more (penguins don’t have hollow bones – why?)
  • Very strong pectoral muscles
  • Endothermic
  • No bladder (makes them lighter) and urine is very concentrated
  • Put a lot of energy into attracting mates and reproduction
  • Beaks are adapted to gather food – varies depending on what it eats
  • birds that spend a significant part of their lives at sea
  • waterproof feathers – due to oil from gland above base of tail – rub into feathers w/ beak
  • eggs more resistant to water loss
  • nest on land
  • feed at sea (at least some)
  • 3% of 8600 species of birds are seabirds
  • all over globe
  • many are predators of fish, squid and invertebrates
  • eat lots to maintain body temp.
  • flightless – wings more like flippers
  • heavier bones – makes diving easier
  • good swimmers – awkward on land
  • cold temps. – layer of fat + feathers to trap air
  • 17 species live at Antarctica – 1 at Galapagos Islands (equator)
  • food varies – krill to fish and squid
  • strong beaks
  • breed in pairs – male incubates eggs while mom goes to eat – after hatching, mom and dad feed (leave babies w/ babysitters – identify by voice when return)

Galapagos penguin

Emperor Penguin



Gentoo penguin

Yellow-eyed penguin,2933,278692,00.html

Adelie penguin

Fiordland penguin

Humboldt penguin

why don t penguins feet freeze
Why don’t penguins’ feet freeze?
  • Controls blood flow to feet – decreased in cold conditions, increased in warmer conditions
  • Countercurrent system
    • arteries taking blood to feet give some heat to veins passing by (this keeps penguin from sending blood that is too cold back to the body)
    • but not all, keeps enough to keep feet a few degrees above freezing to avoid frostbite
    • also keeps too warm blood from going to feet (feet lose a lot of heat but not if there’s not a lot there!)
  • large group
  • tube-like nostrils
  • heavy beaks – curved at tip
  • salt glands in nostrils get rid of excess salt
  • good flyers – catch fish at surface
  • males and females faithful
  • 8+ months to incubate and care for chick
  • ex. albatross, shearwaters, petrels

  • Graceful flyer, clumsy on land (big feet)
  • Uses air currents as flies
  • Prefers cephalopods for food
  • Breeds late in life, mates for life – alternates incubating (2-3 weeks at a time)
  • Make take 10 years to get adult plummage
  • “albatross” comes from Portuguese word “alcatraz” = any large bird
  • Some live up to 80 years

pelicans and allies
Pelicans and Allies
  • webbing b/n all 4 toes
  • Nest in colonies along coast
  • Excrement = guano
  • Guano deposits thick in dry coastal regions and islands – mined for fertilizer
  • Pouch below beak – can hold up to 2 gallons of water
  • Brown pelican was endangered – pop. numbers lowered by pesticide pollution
  • Beak full of water is too heavy – have to sit and wait for it to drain before can fly
  • Feed only their young
  • Air pockets beneath skin cushion chest and protect pelican from injury when diving

  • Black w/ long necks
  • Dive and pursue prey - mainly eats fish
  • Float low in water – only necks above water
  • Tail used as a rudder, webbed toes
  • Fly low
  • No waterproof oil so has to spread wings to dry them after diving

frigate birds
Frigate birds
  • Used to be used to carry messages
  • Narrow wings - has largest wingspan – to – weight ratio
  • Forked tail – uses as rudders
  • Steal food from other birds

Male during breeding season

gulls and allies
Gulls and Allies
  • Largest variety
  • Predators and scavengers (eat almost anything)
  • Jaegers and skuas – gull-like – steal food from other birds (and will eat other birds!)

  • Scavengers – will eat whatever they can find
  • Mates for life – will only find a new mate when old one has died – take turns incubating and feeding
  • Takes 3 years (molting each year) to get to adult plummage
  • Rarely allow whole body to go under water

  • Graceful in flight
  • hover over prey before plunging for it – small fish = main diet
  • Both incubate but females do most
  • 43 species

auk family
Auk family
  • Short-tailed, short-necked diving birds
  • 23 species – including puffins and razorbills
  • Most are dark on top, white bellies
  • One = great auk  even more like penguin – now extinct (last one died in 1844)

  • heavy beaks – change colors during breeding season
  • Crash lands b/c feet are so far back on body
  • Mate for life – dig a burrow (or take over abandoned rabbit burrows), put baby in back and take turns incubating egg and then feeding baby
  • Gulls like to eat their babies – often go out at night to avoid this

  • black and white
  • resembles penguins - fill role of penguin in N. Hemisphere
  • Awkward on land – feet are for rudders when flying/swimming
  • Molts all at once = flightless while growing feathers back
  • Spends majority of life at sea
  • use wings to swim underwater

  • Wading – don’t swim much
  • More common in estuaries and marshes
  • Ex. plovers, sandpipers, rails, coots, herons, egrets, and ducks