Biology Week 23 - Birds
Day 1 - 2 |
Days 3 - 4 |
- Down feathers
- Filoplume feathers
- Contour feathers
- Flight feathers
- Air sacs
||Are the bones of a bird hollow?
Body covered with feathers
Feathers are composed mainly of keratin
Bones of the skeleton are not hollow
Forelimbs function as wings not for grasping
Body temperature is internally regulated
Heart is 4-chambered
Bird body specialization: most are related to flight.
Crop - stores food for processing by the gizzard.
- Down feathers - soft, fluffy feathers providing insulation.
- Filoplumes - thin, hair-like feathers.
- Contour feathers - shape and color the body.
- Flight feathers - specialized contour feathers on wings and tail that provide lift.
Gizzard - grinds the food.
Syrinx - the "song box".
Air sacs - greatly enlarge the capacity of the lungs to take in air.
High metabolism - provides the large amount of energy needed for flight.
Rapid heartbeat - moves large amount of blood through the body for gas exchange.
Highly developed nervous system - controls flight, navigation, vision, and hearing.
Reduced reproductive system - most females have only one ovary.
Reduced excretory system - there is no urinary bladder.
Types of feet based on type of food and environment.
Types of bills based on type of food.
Altricial birds - lay few eggs and incubate them for a short period. The young hatch blind, naked, and helpless. They depend on both parents for several seeks.
Precocial birds - lay many eggs and incubate them for a long period. The young birds are active as soon as they hatch. They can walk, swim, and feed themselves.
During breeding season, males defend an area against other males.
Males attempt to attract females with courtship displays.
Birds migrate to escape poor weather and food supply.
It is believed that birds use migration cues such as the sun & stars, mountains, and changes in the earth's magnetic field.
Day 1-2 Assignment - Birds
This assignment must be turned in by the end of class tomorrow to receive credit.
- Use this essay planning guide to write an essay with your ideas about the theory that birds are decended from dinosaurs.
Days 3 - 4
||Why are female birds drab colored?
More than any other animal, birds are identified by color. The feathers give each species a very distinctive coloration and males and females of most are usually easy to identify from their coloration. Even egg shell color can be used for identification.
Nests of most bird species are very distinctive and can be used for identification.
All birds have different "voices". Not only can the species be identified, but individuals can be recognized by their calls.
The following websites have useful species information:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Bird Identification InfoCenter
Animal Diversity Web
Bird Identification Tools
Audubon Field Guides Online
Day 3-4 Computer Assignment - birds
This assignment must be completed by the end of class tomorrow to receive credit.
- Make a webpage report for one bird.
- Use this template as a guide for your report.
Bird bones are not "hollow" like straws.
To save weight they are not solid, having air spaces formed by cross-struts for strength and support.
Female birds are drab colored to protect them from predators.