All species of birds belong to the phylum Chordata. Animals in the Chordata phylum share many traits as embryos; however, these traits can disappear by birth, allowing for great diversity in the phylum.Know More
Chordata embryos all contain a notochord, some form of a hollow nerve cord, pharangeal slits and a postanal tail. Mammals, bony and cartilaginous fish, reptiles and amphibians are all considered Chordata.
Birds are distinguishable from other Chordata by the presence of feathers; however, most bird species also have scaly feet, light bones for flying, and particularly good vision. Experts believe birds, rather than reptiles, are the descendants of dinosaurs.Learn more about Birds
Despite having wings, not all birds can fly. There are several types of flightless birds, including the penguin, kiwi, moa, weka and kakapo. Kiwis for Kiwi, an independent charity that protects the kiwi populations in New Zealand, states that there are more species of flightless birds in New Zealand than in any other country.Full Answer >
Birds mate by rubbing their cloaca together in what scientists call a cloacal kiss. Birds of both sexes have a cloaca, which is an opening that swells and sticks out of the body slightly during mating season.Full Answer >
Birds do not have teeth or maxillary bones of the jaw like other vertebrates. Instead, they have a pair of mandibles covered by a horny sheath of keratin.Full Answer >
Birdwatchers can identify birds either at home or in the field using online or printed field guides. These field guides help birdwatchers identify a bird by comparing the observed shape, size, color and behavior of the bird with the kinds of birds known to be in the area.Full Answer >