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Upper Elementary Science - II
2.7 Birds

Ornithology is the study of birds. Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates. They have beak, wings and feathers. Flying birds have strong, hollow bones and powerful flight muscles.

Not all birds can fly. The birds that can fly are equipped with suitable wings that help them fly. These light-weight animals have adapted to their environment by flying, which makes them efficient hunters, lets them escape from hungry predators.

Locomotion among birds is varied, some can fly, some can walk, some can swim and some combination of these.

Birds have feathers. Feathers are the modified scales, they help in protecting the bird from extreme climates. Feathers grow into wings and help birds in their flight.

Birds have a tongue, but with a bone. The bird with the largest tongue is the flamingo. Birds use their claws and beaks to find food such as worms, insects, grain, nectar, etc. They help in pollination of plants. They also control the pests that destroy crops.

Birds bear their young in hard-shelled eggs. The time taken by eggs to be hatched is called incubation. It differs from one bird to another.

Ostrich lays the largest eggs and it is also the fastest runner among birds. The fastest swimmer is the Gentoo Penguin. The bird with the longest beak is the Australian pelican.

In order to fly, birds need a lot of oxygen, which they get by breathing air using lungs. They also need a strong circulatory system, including a powerful heart in order to circulate the oxygen. The heart-beat of a bird is more than humans -- about 1,000 times a minute!

Q 1: The fastest swimmer is

Q 2: Birds have tongue.

Q 3: The claws are present on the

Q 4: Birds inhale and exhale more than humans do in a single minute.

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