The four-pointed forkbird has the best suited evolutionary fitness. By the end of the activity, there were only two two-pointed forkbirds, one one-pointed forkbirds, and seventeen four-pointed forkbirds. This shows that four-pointed forkbirds have a better chance of surviving and passing on their traits.
79- 80). The structure of the feet, moreover, “distribute the weight of a Canada goose and prevent it from sinking” when it is standing on marshy or soft land (Herrmann, 2016, p. 80). Finally, “the webbing between the three front toes of a Canada goose” improve its ability to move effectively through water (Herrmann, 2016, p. 78). Consequently, the evolutionary efficacy of the webbed feet adaptation is clear, as it improves on the goose’s ability to survive while it is in the air, on land, and on water. Like their eyelid structure, this would be considered a morphological trait, for its correlation between the bird’s anatomy and its
A recent discovery in northeastern China might shine new light on the evolution of flight for birds. This has been a highly debated topic for some time, since scientists are uncertain if flight began in trees or on the ground. The recent discovery of the Microraptor gui may provide evidence for either side of this particular heated debate. The Microraptor is a small carnivorous dinosaur that has long feathers attached to the hind limbs, arms and tail. The feathered limbs are thought to be a “four-winged” gliding characteristic of the Microraptor. Given that the feathers were used for gliding instead of flying, this supports the theory that flight began in the trees and not on land. If so, this finding will be seen as a very important stage in the evolution of flight for a bird.
Fossil evidence suggests that the Cathartid (New World) vultures have been around for quite some time with two fossil species dated from the early Oligocene (about 35 million years ago). During the Pliocene and Pleistocene (about 2 million years ago) th...
Weiner, Jonathan. The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time. New York: Knopf, 1994. Print.
Darwin’s theories, which have become the basis for Evolutionist thought, came from observations made while on an expedition in South America. After observing environmentally related variations in traits among 13 types of the same species of bird, Darwin developed the con...
...(1995). The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time. Vintage Books: New York.
For years, it has been believed that Dinosaurs are ancestors of modern day birds. By simply looking at pictures of dinosaurs, one can find many physical similarities between these reptiles and modern day birds. Often the legs and the chest cavities are very similar in shape. Some dinosaurs have limbs that look like they could evolve into modern day wings, some dinosaurs even had feathers (6). A recent discovery in Italy of an extremely well preserved Scipionyx samniticus challenges this idea. The skeleton of this small Therapod was nearly complete, but more impressively, there was still remnants of soft tissue. Portions of the Trachea, the liver, the skeletal muscle, and the intestines were still preserved (1).
Several models have been proposed to explain why might Archaeopteryx or its decedents develop the ability to fly. The “pouncing proavis” or “trees-down” model was proposed by J.P. Garner and colleagues in 1999. They theorize that birds evolved to the ability to fly by first living in trees and then gliding down to ambush prey. Natural selection favoured individuals that could glide the furthest to catch prey and eventually led to the origin of flight. Garner and colleagues (1999) believed that this theory explained three aspects of early flight: the model matches observed secession in flight evolution based on fossil records, it predicts a primitive bird-like animal had few adaptions to flapping but very complex aerodynamic feathers, and it explains the origin of rachis in feathers.
Most of the bones are pneumatic, meaning they are hollow and filled with air spaces connected to the respiratory system. Thus the hollow bones reduces the weight of birds which makes the lighter to fly freely.
Neck and beak – *The neck is long and felixble as a result bird is able to rotate its head for reaching food and can see all around. *The jaws are teethless and are produced into beak which are variously modified to pick up food, making nests and preening etc. Skin – *The skin of bird is loose which allows movement of the flight muscles. Limbs –*Forelimbs are modified into wings and are attached closer to center of gravity and farther from head than in other animals. *The wings act as propelling organs for flight. *Hand bones are small, fused, flattened and specialized to manipulate the flight
Moving forward, Evolution, also known as Darwinism, is the process of different living organisms thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms. A man by the name of Charles Darwin has been trying to contradict the ideas of Creationism all of his career. Trying to succeed, he performed many experiments and tests for answers. He initiated his work by using the adaptations of smaller animals. For example, on Darwin’s study on Finches, he theorized that they have adapted to survive their changing environment. Over time their beaks have metamorphosed into smaller beaks s...
Marzluff, J., Angell, T. & Elliot, B. (2013, May. - Jun.). Birds: Brains over brawn. Audubon, 115(3), 40-41.
Birds are some of the most accomplished living organisms to take to the sky that the world has ever seen. Flight has allowed birds to colonize virtually the entire globe, allowing them to dominate the skies. Flying is quite an energetic task, so birds have to eat almost continuously to gain the needed energy tbo fly. When traveling by air, it is important to keep your weight to a minimum. Weight reduction has led to various adaptations that have allowed birds to take flight like “honeycombed” bones and a light and efficient beak. Flight gave rise to a new form of locomotion and birds quickly colonized the entire globe.