Download Birds: Their habits and skills by Gisela Kaplan, Lesley J. Rogers PDF

By Gisela Kaplan, Lesley J. Rogers

This ebook lacks beautiful pictures that are more and more used to draw readers. although, there's a lot of fascinating information regarding birds' lives for the intense chook enthusiasts. As from the again of the publication attempting to attract its readers:-

Why do pigeons bob their heads after they walk?
Can speaking parrots comprehend what they say?
What do birds research and remember?

Explanations are drawn from various ornithological reviews and researches. What will be larger than a brief harvest from years of attempt of the ornithologists in a couple of hours? it is possible for you to to faucet many killer themes for you subsequent chat along with your fellow birders.

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Additional info for Birds: Their habits and skills

Example text

The passerines now common in Europe are believed to have evolved 23 million years ago. 36 Most of the categories (orders) of presentday birds, except the passerines, appeared during this period. Passerines (including true songbirds) may have begun to evolve during the late Oligocene (starting at about 35 million years ago) and radiated during the Miocene epoch (starting about 23 million years ago and ending about 5 million years ago). But some evidence suggests that the first songbirds evolved in the Southern Hemisphere even earlier than this, in the early Eocene epoch (around 50 million years ago), and migrated later to the Northern Hemisphere.

This hypothesis is similar to the idea that feathers first evolved for insulation, in the sense that feathers are said to have first appeared for purposes other than flying. 19 It is possible that the first feathered creatures (ancient birds and theropod dinosaur) used their feathers in similar ways to communicate with other members of their species. 20 None of these hypotheses about the first uses of feathers can help us to decide whether Archaeopteryx was a ground-up or a trees-down flier. It is a matter of putting the many pieces of evidence together and coming up with the most plausible hypothesis, but there is no overwhelming evidence to determine whether Archaeopteryx glided down from above or flapped its way up from a running start on the ground.

Without doubt, birds have developed some of the most elaborate courtship rituals among vertebrates. One of the reasons for this may well be that copulation based on a cloacal meeting (called a cloacal kiss) requires collaboration because the cloaca is located below the tail feathers in both sexes. The male, sitting on the female’s back, must bring his cloaca half46 CHOOSING A MATE way round to meet with hers. This is possible only if she raises her cloaca sideways to align it with his. The female of most avian species may be considered highly successful in keeping a good measure of control of her own fertility if it is her collaboration that leads to successful fertilisation.

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