Animal Info -> Birds -> Characteristics of birds

Characteristics of birds

Birds are the most distinct and more specialized group of vertebrates. These heterogeneous animals belongs to the class Aves. They have several distinctive characteristic. Some of these characteristic might be common with the other animals but the other characteristic are found only in birds.

General characteristic of the birds are as follows:

  • The body of the birds are covered with feathers
  • Birds have horny beaks and scaly feet
  • Birds are endothermic vertebrates.
  • They are oviparous which means they lay eggs to develop their young ones.
  • Birds are the species in the animal kingdom that walk on two legs. (they are Bipedal).
  • Like humans birds have four chambered hearts.
  • The shape of the body is streamlined which helps them to fly high in the sky.
  • Birds have a very strong vision.
  • Depending on the species the birds can be said to be carnivores or herbivores creature.

Based on the ability to fly birds are categorized into carinates and ratites. Birds that have the ability to fly are called as carinates and birds that cannot fly are called as ratites.

Molting

At the end of each nesting season birds undergo a process called as Molting. In this process birds will lose their old feathers and regrow the new ones.

Migration

Bids have a peculiar habit called migrating. They migrate from one place to another for breeding. Before winter sets in the birds from the southern hemispheres migrate to the northern hemispheres. After the season sets out the birds again migrate to their original places.

High metabolic rates

Birds have a high metabolic activities than any other animals in the world. So they need to consume large quantities of food each day. Some birds will consume food that is equal to their body weight each day.

The excretory, respiratory and the digestive system of the birds is very efficient, in order to minimize its body weight thus helping it to fly

Nervous system

The nervous system of the birds are also specially designed to help them in flying. The birds have a highly developed and large cerebellum which are responsible for their movement, coordination and balance during their flight.

 
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