Chapter 19 and 20 Notes, Birds and Mammals Characteristics of Class Aves
Forelimbs designed for flight in most birds. Epidermis is covered in feathers, except the hind legs which are covered in scales. No sweat or oil glands, but they do have a preen gland (uropygial gland) at the base of their tail, that they use to waterproof and protect their feathers. Bony skeleton that is hollow with air-filled cavities. Skull with a beak made of keratin, no teeth. Preen (Uropygial) Gland Characteristics of Class Aves
4-chambered heart, with completely separate pulmonary and systemic circulations. Endothermic, warm-blooded.
Respiration by way of air sacs. Unidirectional flow. No urinary bladder, semisolid urine as waste. Separate sexes, internal fertilization. Amniotic egg, with hard calcareous shell. Eggs are incubated externally. Air Sac Respiratory System Feathers
Almost everything about birds, with the exception of the flightless birds, is designed on these two principles; more power, less weight. Feathers being made of keratin, are lightweight, yet amazingly tough and resilient. Most feathers are contour feathers, which are the feathers used for flight.
Contour feathers emerge from the skin at the quill (calamus), and turn into the shaft (rachis), which bears numerous barbs and barbules. Feathers
The barbs branch out diagonally from the shaft (rachis) to form the vane. There are several hundred barbs in a vane. Each barb has separate parallel filaments that branch off from the barbs called barbules. The barbules hook on to each other to keep the vane of the feather aligned. Each barb can have up to 600 barbules on each
side of the barb. A single feather can have over 1 million barbules. Contour Feather Different Types of Feathers
The three different types of feathers Contour feathers (Flight feathers) Down feathers (Insulation feathers) Filoplume feathers (Sensory feathers) Feathers
If the barbules become unattached, the birds preen their feathers to reattach them. Feathers, like hair, are dead once fully grown.
Shedding or molting of feathers replaces old, worn out feathers. Molting usually occurs once a year, usually in late summer, after nesting season. Flight and tail feathers are usually lost gradually and in pairs, so the molting doesn't impair flight. Peregrine Falcon Preening its Feathers Bird Skeletal Structure
Bird's bones are pneumatic, which means they are hollow and are made of air-filled cavities. The pneumatic bones make birds light, but they also play a role in the respiratory system of birds. This bone structure makes them incredibly light.
The frigate bird has a 7-foot wingspan, but the skeleton only weighs a mere pound. In order to increase the strength of the hollow bones, the inside of the bones have cross members or struts, like on an airplane. Frigate Bird Birds Pneumatic Bones Bird Skeletal Structure
The orbits (eye sockets) of birds are unusually large to accommodate their excellent vision.
Modern birds lack teeth. Some birds in the fossil record had teeth, like the famous archaeopteryx. Teeth make the head too heavy for flight. Instead, birds use a muscular gizzard to break down food, which is found in the center of their body. The rib cage and sternum is rigid, not allowing expansion of the chest cavity for respiration. The rib cage and sternum must support the powerful wing muscles on the breast. Bird skulls
The sternum is keeled, meaning it has a very large surface area for muscle attachment. The clavicles are fused to form an elastic structure called the furcula, which stores elastic energy when the wings beat in flight. The furcula is the Y-shaped bone that we call the wishbone at Thanksgiving. The vertebrae and pelvis are also fused together to absorb the shock of landing.
Elastic Wishbone (The Furcula) Bird Skeleton Note the unusually large keeled sternum that attaches to the breast muscles Note the fused pelvis
and vertebrae called the synsacrum, which absorbs the shock of landing. Bird Muscular System
If you have ever eaten a bird you know that most of the muscle in the body is on the breast. The largest muscle which pulls the wing down during flight is the pectoralis muscle. The pectoralis muscle also has an antagonistic muscle that pulls the wing back up, but surprisingly it is not found on the back, where one might expect. If it was, it would impair flight by making the bird too top heavy. Flight Muscles
Instead, there is another muscle found underneath the pectoralis muscle called the supracoracoideus muscle and it has an ingenious rope and pulley system. Leg Muscles and the Perching Mechanism
Muscles of the lower leg are greatly reduced because large leg muscles would affect a bird's center of gravity and it would make the legs vulnerable to cold. Birds have strong tendons that automatically clamp
down when a bird is perched, allowing them to sleep while they are perched. Also, the talons on raptors, like hawks, eagles, and falcons are assisted by these tendons. The force of the strike causes the tendons to clamp down hard on its prey. The Perching Mechanism Birds Digestive System
Birds lack teeth because teeth are too heavy. Instead, birds use a muscular gizzard that they fill with small stones and pebbles to grind food. Storage of food takes place in the crop. Another food chamber called the proventriculus is the actual stomach and it secretes gastric juice
which chemically breaks down the food. Birds of prey like owls, form pellets of undigestible material (bones and fur) in the proventriculus, then they regurgitate them. Birds Digestive System Birds Respiratory System
The respiratory system of birds is arguably the most efficient in the animal kingdom. It is no surprise, considering how hard they have to work in order to achieve flight. For example, bar-headed geese migrate over the great Himalayan Mountains.
They have even been observed flying over Mount Everest at 29,000 feet elevation. Not only that, but they do it all in one day without having to acclimate for hypoxic conditions. Birds Respiratory System
The secret to their success is a one-way (unidirectional) flow of oxygen, created by nine air sacs distributed throughout the body, and tubes in the lungs called parabronchi. Air sacs also connect to the bones via tubes. It takes two full breaths for air to circulate the body. On the first inhalation, the oxygen-rich air moves back to the posterior air sacs. Birds Respiratory System
On the first exhalation, the air from the posterior air sacs moves into the lungs to deliver oxygen to the parabronchi. On the second inhalation, the air from the parabronchi moves into the anterior air sacs. On the second exhalation, the air from the anterior air sacs is removed from the body.
The result is a continuous flow of fresh air across the blood vessels surrounding the parabronchi. Birds Respiratory System Birds Respiratory System Wing Shapes
There are four basic wing shapes found among birds to assist them in different ways. Elliptical (low aspect ratio) designed for low speeds while maintaining high lift and excellent maneuverability. High-speed (tapering or swept back wings) for extreme high speeds with reduced turbulence.
Soaring (high aspect ratio) for high lift and moderate to high speed but low maneuverability. High-lift for carrying heavy loads at low speeds with moderate maneuverability. Wing Shapes Two wing design modifications that reduce turbulence or stalling of an airfoil is wing slots (or alula) and a swept back tapering wing which reduces wing tip vortexes.
Wing Slots and Wing Tip Vortexes Wing Slots and Wing Tip Vortexes Geese take advantage of the wing tip vortexes by flying in a V and catching the updrafts. Bird Migration
Birds are the supreme migrators of the animal kingdom. The Arctic tern migrates to the Arctic Circle during the summer to breed. Then they migrate all the way back to Antarctica during the winter. A total round trip distance of about 22,000-30,000 miles. The stimulus for migration is a change in the amount of daylight caused by changes in the seasons. In spring, the seasonal changes stimulate an increase in gonad development, increase of fat storage, courtship
and mating behavior and caretaking instincts. Arctic Tern Migration Route Migration Navigation
Understanding exactly how birds navigate is not entirely understood by scientists. Experiments have shown that some birds navigate by sight and recognizing landmarks. Experiments with homing pigeons have shown that the earth's magnetic field may help some birds to navigate. Small particles of magnetite have been detected in their neck muscles. Other experiments have shown some birds use the
position of the sun and stars to navigate. Mating Strategies There are two main types of mating strategies in animals; monogamy, in which mating occurs with only
one partner, and polygamy, in which mating occurs with multiple partners. There are many variations of the two types. Monogamy is rare in most animals, but very common with birds; approximately 90%. One reason why monogamy may be more common with birds is that birds lack milk, (except crop milk in some) so parental roles are more shared and equal. Mating Strategies
The most common form of polygamy in birds is called polygyny. Polygyny is when one male has many female partners. This is a common practice with some members of the grouse family. Male sage grouse defend their breeding territories (called leks) from other rival males. The females choose the dominant male because he has the best genes.
Sage Grouse Lek Nesting and Care of the Young
Most birds build some type of nest in order to prepare a place to raise their young. There are two ways the young are born. Precocial young such as quail, grouse, geese, ducks etc. are born covered with down and can run or swim as soon as their plumage is dry. Atricial young are born naked and helpless at birth and remain in the nest for a week or more. Most birds (the passeriformes) are altricial. Precocial Ducklings
Altricial Chicks Class Mammalia Body covered in hair, reduced in some.
Skin glands including, sweat, scent, sebaceous, and mammary glands. Turbinate bones in the nasal cavity that conserve water for endotherms and also give mammals an acute sense of smell. Teeth in most mammals are diphyodont (deciduous or milk teeth), and also they are heterodont (vary in structure and function). Turbinate Bones in Mammals Nasal Passages in Reptiles
Class Mammalia Fleshy external ears called pinnae.
4-chambered heart and red blood cells are biconcave and nonnucleated. Secondary palate, similar to crocodiles, which separates the air passages from the food. A muscular diaphragm for breathing. A highly developed, cerebral cortex. Internal fertilization, with development via a placenta in most, young nourished from milk. Hair
All mammals have hair. Humans have little, whales only have a few sensory hair bristles on their snout. Hair is made from keratin, the same substance that makes up nails, claws, hooves, horns, feathers on birds, and scales on reptiles. Mammals have two kinds of hair that make up their coat or pelage. They have dense, soft underhair for insulation, and coarse guard hairs used for
protection and camouflage. Hair Most mammals undergo two annual molts. Many arctic animals like the weasels and snowshoe hare, have a brown to gray summer coat that is thin, and a
white winter coat that is thick. Many mammals have unusual color patterns like the zebra's which confuses predators, and the white spots on a fawn, imitating sunlight under the forest canopy. Green is a rare color for mammals, possibly an adaptation to nocturnal behavior. Camouflaged Fawn Hair
Many hairs are also used for defense and sensory purposes, like the quills on a porcupine, and the vibrassae (whiskers) found on a variety of mammals. An adaptation for nocturnal behavior. Horns and Antlers Horns are hard keratinized structures that grow from a bone on the skull and are not shed annually. They
are found on members of the Bovidae family (sheep and cattle), and they are usually found on both sexes. Antlers are hard structures made of solid bone when mature, and are found in the Cervidae family (deer family). Antlers are shed annually, usually in the winter, and they regrow in the spring under a vascularized layer of skin called velvet. Horns and Antlers Integumentary (Skin) Glands
Mammals have complex integumentary systems. The four different skin glands are sweat, sebaceous, scent, and mammary glands. Sweat glands are for evaporative cooling. Scent glands produce pheromones for attracting mates, for marking territories or for defense (like in the case of a skunk).
Integumentary Glands Sebaceous glands are closely associated with hair follicles and secrete an oily substance called sebum onto the hair and skin. Sebum protects and waterproofs the skin and hair of mammals.
In most mammals, milk is secreted from mammary glands through nipples or teats. Monotreme mammals lack nipples and secrete milk into a depression on the mother's belly. Teeth
The dentition or teeth in mammals are very complex. Mammal teeth are the most advanced of the animal kingdom. Similar to Swiss army knives. Mammal's teeth vary in shape and size, relative to their function. These teeth are referred to as heterodont. There are four types of heterodont teeth; incisors for snipping, canines for piercing, and premolars and molars used for shearing, slicing, crushing, or grinding. Heterodont Teeth Deciduous (Milk) Teeth
Mammals grow two sets of teeth; a temporary set, called deciduous teeth (aka milk (baby) teeth), and a permanent (adult) set of teeth. Only incisors, canines, and premolars are deciduous, molars are never replaced. Adaptations for Digestion
There are four different ways mammals obtain their food. Their dentition varies with diet. Mammals can be either Insectivores, Herbivores, Carnivores, or Omnivores. Insectivores like shrews, moles, anteaters, and bats feed on small invertebrates like worms, grubs, and insects. Insectivores have teeth with pointed cusps,
which puncture the exoskeletons of their prey. Insectivorous Teeth of a Shrew Adaptations for Digestion Herbivores can be divided into two different groups. The first group is the browsers and grazers, also known
as the ungulates (which are hoofed animals like the horses, deer, antelope, cattle, sheep, and goats). The second group is the gnawers like the rodents and rabbits. Rodents have chisel-like incisors which continue growing for life and must be worn away to keep pace with their continual growth. Herbivore Skulls Adaptations for Digestion
Herbivores also have the added challenge of breaking down cellulose, the structural part of plants. Mammals cannot produce their own cellulase (digestive enzymes that break down cellulose). Herbivores harbor anaerobic bacteria and protozoans in their digestive systems that can produce cellulase. In some non-ruminant herbivores, such as horses, rabbits, elephants, some primates, and rodents, the bacteria are found in the cecum. The cecum contains bacteria that break down cellulose.
Adaptations for Digestion In some non-ruminant herbivores like the lagomorphs (rabbits and hares), much of the nutrition is lost because fermentation of the cellulose occurs after the small intestine.
In order to compensate, rabbits reingest their fecal pellets in order to extract as much of the nutrition from their food as possible. This type of feeding strategy is referred to as coprophagy. Ruminants (cattle, goats, sheep, deer etc.) have a fourchambered stomach. Adaptations for Digestion
The first of the four chambers is called the rumen. The food is broken down by bacteria in the rumen and is formed into small balls of cud. When the animal lays down to rest, it regurgitates the cud into its mouth to chew it into smaller pieces. Then the cud is reingested and it passes back through the rumen. Then the cud passes into the other two chambers referred to as the reticulum and omasum, where water
and some of the nutrients are absorbed. Adaptations for Digestion The remainder of the food products are passed into the last chamber, called the abomasum and small intestine, where enzymes are secreted and normal
chemical digestion occurs. Because there is very little nutrition obtained from vegetation, herbivores have to consume large quantities of vegetation to obtain nutrition. Large African elephants have to consume as much as 300-400 lbs. of vegetation a day. (that would be about 4-5 bales of hay at 75 lbs. per bale) Adaptations for Digestion
Carnivores, like canines, felines, and members of the weasel family, are well equipped with large canine teeth and carnassial cheek teeth that are designed for tearing flesh and meat. Their digestive tracts are short compared to the herbivores, and their ceca (plural for cecum) are very small since their food is easily digestible. Omnivores (bears, pigs, raccoons, rodents, primates) have digestive tracts and teeth that allow them to eat
both plants and animals. Digestive Tracts of Mammals Dentition (Teeth) of Mammals Reproduction in Mammals
Most male mammals are fertile year round, however mating is restricted to times of fertility in females. Fertility in female mammals runs in periodic cycles referred to as estrus cycles. Only when a female mammal goes into heat or estrus, may she successfully breed. There are three different methods of breeding found in mammals. One group of mammals, the monotremes, are oviparous (egg layers).
Monotremata (Duck-Billed Platypus and the Echidna or Spiny Anteater) Reproduction in Mammals Marsupial mammals are viviparous, but the young are born underdeveloped, live in the mother's
pouch, drinking milk for a long period of time known as the lactation period. Placental mammals are viviparous, but the young remain attached to a placenta for a long period of time known as the gestation period. After the young are born, the lactation period is shorter than the marsupials. Marsupial Mammals
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