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Orno lecture midterm
Terms in this set (92)
What distinguishes birds from other vertebrates
What are some of the adaptations for flight found in birds
fusion of bones
How are the feet of arboreal species designed for gripping branches
when the bird squats, the leg tendons (on the side of the ankle) automatically cause the toes to grip
What is adaptive radiation
the evolution of additional varied species adapted to different ecologies and behaviors
What is natural selection
predictable predominance of individual organisms with advantageous traits
What group did birds evolve from
What characteristics do birds & modern reptiles share
cleidoic eggs, nucleated red-blood cells, females are heterogametic, single occipital condyle, single middle ear bone,
What are the primary characteristics of Archaeopteryx
feathers, long bony tail, furcula, claws, arboreal, crow-sized, solid bones
Why was the discovery of Archaeopteryx a timely discovery
Opponents of evolution had used the lack of fossil record between birds and reptiles as a way to support creationism
What are the 2 alternative theories for the origin of birds
evolved from thecodonts
evolved from theropods
What were the thecodonts
group of pre-dinosaur, stem reptiles
what were the theropods
group of dinosaurs
Be able to describe the 2 theories concerning the evolution of flight
arboreal theory-started with gliding and parachuting
cursorial theory (running)- longer limbs started to heighten leaping ability
what is a species?
fundamental unit of biological classification
"groups of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups"
two principal ways by which bird populations become geographically isolated
Founder effect: group of birds can colonize a new area away from their source population
fragmentation of once-contiguous habitats
What are conservative characters & why are they of greatest value
those do not easily change in the course of ecological adaptation
they retain clues to ancestry
What 2 major revolutions that started in the 1970s have infused new vigor into the analysis of evolutionary relationships among birds
cladistic character analysis & biochemical technologies
Based on DNA analysis, which groups of birds are firmly positioned as being among the oldest modern birds
chicken-like birds and waterfowl (Galliformes & Anseriformes)
What are feathers mainly composed of
The hollow part of the shaft that connects to the body
the top part of the shaft that supports the vane
broad, flat area on either side of the rachis
lateral branches off the rachis; primary elements of vane architecture
smaller elements that branch off the ramus
projections off the barbules, "hook-like"
What is an afterfeather & what is its primary function
mirror-image shaft and vane, attached to the same calamus; typically plumulaceous
smaller feathers that overlap the bases of the remiges and cover the gaps between them
flight feathers; primaries and secondaries
large, asymmetrical feathers that attach to the bones of the hand and second digit
how do owls fly silently?
barbs on leading edge of owl primaries are long, curved, and well-separated
reduces air turbulence
long, filamentous tips of some barbules
minimizes friction between overlapping feathers
where do the secondaries attach/what is their function
where do the rectrices attach
pygostyle: fused caudal vertebrae
characteristics of a semiplume?
large rachis w/ loose plumulaceous vanes
function of semiplumes
fill out aerodynamic contours of body plumage
characteristics/function of filoplumes
hairlike feathers: fine rachis that ends in terminal tuft of 1-6 barbs
monitor the movement and position of adjacent vaned feathers
characteristics/function of bristles
simplified; only a stiff, tapered rachis w/ a few basal barbs
sensory and protective functions
what are the 3 major color pigments?
melanin, carotenoids, porphyrins
what colors do melanins produce?
earth tones: grays, blacks, browns, and buff
what colors do carotenoids produce?
bright yellows, oranges, reds, and certain blues and greens
what colors do porphyrins produce?
bright brown, bright green, magenta
Functions of melanin?
makes feather more resistant to wear
increase resistance to degradation by bacteria
absorbs radiant energy, aids in thermoregulation
Where do birds obtain carotenoids?
what are structural colors?
colors that result from the physical alteration of incident light
what are pterylae?
dense concentrations of feather attachments (feather tracts)
what are apteria/its functions
regions w/o feathers separating pterylae
facilitate movement of skin and feathers
facilitate heat loss during flight
what is the uropygial gland?
function of preen gland?
preserves feather moistness and flexibility
regulates bacterial/fungal floras of feathers
function of alula?
keeps airflow close to wing during take-off and landing
simplest form of flight?
how do birds take advantage of rising air?
static-using a flow of air that is constant
dynamic- using a flow of air that is not uniform
what is slope soaring?
exploits air that is an upward current caused by hitting and deflecting off of geographic features
components of the pectoral girdle?
Coracoid, scapula, furcula
What is the furcula and its function?
fused clavicle bones used for spacers between the shoulders and for skeletal support of the body in flight while not adding a lot of weight
what are the 2 major flight muscles?
where do the flight muscles originate and insert?
originate: keel; insert: humerus
what is the triosseal canal, what passes through it?
space created by the furcula, scapula, and coracoid
tendons from pectoralis and supracoracoideus pass through
difference between red and white muscle fibers?
red: high aerobic capacity: used for sustained flight
white: high power, quickly fatigue
what is the crop and its functions?
an expanded esophageal section that stores and softens food and regulates its flow through the digestive tract
what are the two sections of the avian stomach?
an anterior glandular part (proventriculus) and a posterior muscular part (gizzard)
the proventriculus is most developed in...
fish-eating birds and raptors
function of proventriculus?
secretes acidic gastric juices for digestion
how does intestine length vary w/ food habits?
tends to be short in species with a diet of fruit, meat and insects and long in species that feed on seeds, plants and fish
what are ceca/their function?
side sacs of the digestive tract
aid in digestion
why do parrots eat clay?
they eat seeds and bitter green fruits that would be lethal to most animals. clay acts as antidote to toxins.
how does assimilation rate vary w/ food type?
highest assimilation efficiency: meat and fish
lower assimilation efficiency: young plants
lowest assimilation efficiency: mature foliage
why do birds maintain high body temps?
enhances intrinsic reflexes and powers
allows birds to be active and fast-moving
function of the concha?
cleanse and heat the air before it enters the respiratory tract
What are the 4 steps in the avian respiratory cycle?
1) inhaled air passes through the primary bronchi to posterior air sacs (inhalation)
2) air moves from posterior air sacs into lungs (exhalation)
3) oxygen depleted air moves from lungs to anterior air sacs (inhalation)
4) expels CO2 rich air from the anterior air sacs (exhalation)
How many air sacs do most birds have?
function of air sacs?
they make possible the continuous, unidirectional, efficient flow of air through the lungs
how does heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output compare between birds and mammals?
heart rate: slower for birds
stroke volume: higher for birds
cardiac output: comparable
how does the focusing mechanism of birds compare to that of mammals?
the cornea and lens both curve to focus in birds, only lense curves in mammals
how does a bird's cone concentration compare to that of humans?
at minimum, birds have twice as many cones as humans
What are foveae?
concave depressions of high cone density
what is pecten and its function?
large black pigmented structure attached to retina near optic nerve, regulation of internal eye temperatures and hydrostatic pressure
how does avian color perception compare to that of humans?
aves have equal color vision to mammal ancestors but extremely better than modern day mammals
bird hearing vs. mammal hearing?
birds have worse hearing than mammals
what birds use echolocation?
cave nesting birds such as swiftlets
what is a particularly important avian organ?
semicircular canals for balance and orientation because flight
why do birds have a large cerebellum?
needed for flight coordination
what part of the avian brain is the center of learning and intelligence? in which birds is it largest?
hyperallium, biggest in crows, parrots, other passerines
What sounds are most effective for long-distance communication?
Why do forest-dwelling birds tend to produce simple sounds
complex calls are distorted by interferences
Why are broadband songs, rich in temporal structure, advantageous in open habitats
simple, sustained tones are distorted by temperature gradients and air turbulence
how many calls do birds usually have?
5 to 14
what is the avian vocal organ?
function of the larynx?
it opens and closes the glottis
how does the syrinx produce sound?
sound caused by vibration in air column as air passes through the syringeal passageway
internal labium/external labium constrict syringeal passageway
Tympaniform membrane on each side of the syrinx, interclavicular sac surrounds syrinx
vibrations of the labia determine basic characteristics of sound
Why does a needle puncture of the interclavicular air sac render a bird voiceless
it would prevent buildup of the pressures needed to move the tympaniform membranes
What is the general function of the syringeal muscles & what type of vocalizations can be produced by species that lack functional syringeal muscles
control syrinx action during song production
spp that lack syringeal muscles can only grunt/ hiss
Among birds, in which groups does learning guide vocal development
oscine songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds
what are the 4 stages of vocal learning?
1. Critical learning period: info stored, often less than a year
2. Silent period: up to 8 months, no practice or rehearsal
3. subsong period: practice period, "infant babbling"
4. song crystallization
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