We thought for this blog post we would look at our little feathered friends. Because they are all around us it is easy to take birds for granted but they are remarkable creatures.
Here are some fascinating facts about birds:
- There are over 9,500 species of bird in the world although these are usually grouped into 30 categories. Birds are the most widespread of all animals around the world.
- Feathers are unique to birds and are a defining characteristic of the group which means that if an animal has feathers, then it is a bird.
- A bird’s lungs are more efficient and take up more space than those of mammals. A human’s lungs compose of 1/20th of its body, but a bird’s takes up 1/5th.
- The ostrich is the largest bird in the world. It also lays the largest eggs and as the fastest maximum running speed at 97 kph. The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest living bird in the world, with a length of just 5cm.
- The penguin is the only bird that can swim, but not fly. It is also the only bird that walks upright.
- Chickens have over 200 distinct noises they make to communicate.
- The oldest bird was known as Archaeopteryx and it lived about 150 million years ago. It was the size of a raven and had a mixture of reptilian and avian characteristics.
- A bird’s normal body temperature is usually 7-8 degrees higher than a human’s. Up to three-quarters of the air a bird breathes is used just for cooling down since they are unable to sweat.
- The world’s only wingless bird is the New Zealand Kiwi. The kiwi is also unusual in that it is the only bird with nostrils at the end of its beak. This helps the bird sniff for food on the ground. It often snorts to clear its nostrils.
- The heaviest bird of prey is the Andean condor. It can weigh up to 12 kgs.
- The bird with the biggest wingspan (up to 3.63m) is the Wandering Albatross.
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