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Unformatted text preview: T HE L I FE OF BIRDS, VOL 1: TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY? 1. Bats have been flying for about 60 million years, which is around 200 million years more recent than when insects took to the air. 2. The asymmetry of fossilized feathers suggests the feathers were used for flight. 3. Most modern birds still have reptile-like scales, especially on their legs . 4. As kerotinous scales evolved into feathers, these early feathers may have been used mostly for climbing or gliding . 5. The Hoatzins of South America have claws on their wings, and the manner in which Hoatzins use these structures may resemble how Archaeopteryx would have used them. 6. The largest flying bird that has ever existed was probably a giant vulture that had a wingspan over 20 feet wide. 7. As modern bird families became established, the mammals and the birds competed for dominance. 8. The filaments of ostrich feathers lack hooks , so the feathers cannot be zipped to form a contiguous blade. 9. False : In birds, flight is valuable for escaping from predators and has a low energetic cost. 10. Many bird species found in New Zealand arrived long ago from Australia and evolved into what we see today. 11. True: The Kiwi uses its keen sense of smell to find food in the leaf litter. 12. After humans in New Zealand caused the extinction of 12 species of Moas, an immense eagle that hunted the Moas also went extinct....
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- Fall '08