Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 25

FLIGHT ADAPTATIONS IN

BIRDS

UMESH BHARTI
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
GOVT. COLLEGE FOR GIRLS
SECTOR-11, CHANDIGARH
A STRUCTURE THAT COMBINES
STRENGTH AND LIGHT WEIGHT
The evolution of flight has endowed
birds with many physical features
 Wings and feathers.
 Fusion and elimination of some
bones
 “Pneumatization" (hollowing) of the
remaining ones.
 Some of the vertebrae and some
bones of the pelvic girdle of birds
are fused into a single structure, as
are some finger and leg bones.
 Hollow bones are connected to the
respiratory system.
 To keep the cylindrical walls of a
bird's major wing bones from
buckling, the bones have internal
strut-like reinforcements
BASIC MECHANICS OF BIRD FLIGHT

 The fundamentals of
bird flight are similar to
those of aircraft.
 Lift force is produced by
the action of air flow on
the wing, which is an
airfoil.
 The lift force occurs
because the air has a
lower pressure just above
the wing and higher
pressure below.
EVOLUTION HAS CREATED IN THE AVIAN
SKELETON A MODEL OF PARSIMONY,
LIGHTENING WHERE POSSIBLE

 The bird skeleton is highly


adapted for flight. It is extremely
lightweight but strong enough to
withstand the stresses of taking
off, flying, and landing.
 One key adaptation is the fusing
of bones into single ossifications,
such as the pygostyle.
 The bird have a deep, solid
breastbone (sternum) to which the
wing muscles can be anchored.
PRESENCE OF SUPPORTING BARS AND
AIRSPACES IN BONES OF BIRDS

Photo by: Umesh Bharti


LIGHTWEIGHT BEAKS

 Birds also lack teeth or


even a true jaw, instead
having evolved a beak,
which is far more
lightweight.
 The beaks of many baby
birds have a projection
called an egg tooth, which
facilitates their exit from
the amniotic egg.
EFFICIENT RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

 A bird's respiratory system is


proportionately larger and
much more efficient.
 An average bird devotes about
one-fifth of its body volume to
its respiratory system.
 The lungs of birds are less
flexible, and relatively small,
but they are interconnected
with a system of large, thin-
walled air sacs in the front
(anterior) and back (posterior)
portions of the body.
 Air sacs are connected with the
air spaces in the bones.
BIRDS LUNGS OBTAIN FRESH AIR DURING
BOTH EXHALATION AND INHALATION
 Birds' lungs are anatomically very complex (their
structure and function are only barely outlined
here), but they create a "crosscurrent
circulation" of air and blood that provides a
greater capacity for the exchange of oxygen and
carbon dioxide across the thin intervening
membranes.
 A breath of inhaled air passes first into the
posterior air sacs and then, on exhalation, into
the lungs. volume.
 Air passes through the lungs in both exhalation
and inspiration, with the air sacs functioning as
a reservoir for the next breath of air.
 Avian lungs do not have alveoli, but instead
contain millions of tiny passages known as
parabronchi, connected at either ends by the
and .
 Air flows through the honeycombed walls of the
parabronchi into air vesicles, called atria, which
project radially from the parabronchi.
 These atria give rise to air capillaries, where
oxygen and carbon dioxide are traded with
cross-flowing blood capillaries by diffusion.
BIRD'S CIRCULATORY SYSTEM, WELL
EQUIPPED TO HANDLE THE RIGORS OF
FLIGHT.
 A bird's heart is large, powerful
 It is a four-chambered structure
of two pumps operating side by
side.
 One two-chambered pump
receives oxygen-rich blood from
the lungs and pumps it out to the
waiting tissues.
 The other pump receives oxygen-
poor blood from the tissues and
pumps it into the lungs.
 This segregation of the two kinds
of blood makes a bird's
circulatory system, like its
respiratory system, well equipped
to handle the rigors of flight.
MUSCLE POWER

 The flight muscles of most birds are red in color ("dark meat")
because of the presence of many fibers containing red oxygen-
carrying compounds, myoglobin and cytochrome.
 They are also richly supplied with blood and are designed for
sustained flight.
LOSS OF RIGHT OVARY TO REDUCE WEIGHT
FOR FLIGHT

 The male have two testes


which become hundreds of
times larger during the
breeding season to produce
sperm
 The female's ovaries become
larger, although only the left
ovary usually functions.
However, if the left ovary is
damaged by infection or
other problems, the right
ovary will try to function.
SHARP EYES & LARGER BRAIN

 Birds have found many ways to streamline,


lighten, or totally eliminate unnecessary
parts (like urinary bladders)
 Birds have brains that are proportionately
much larger than those of lizards and
comparable, in fact, with those of rodents.
 The brain is connected to sharp eyes, and
has ample processing centers for
coordinating the information received
from them.
 A bird's nerves can rapidly transmit
commands of the brain to the muscles
operating the wings.
SYNSACRUM FORMS A RIGID STRUCTURE
WHICH CARRIES THE WEIGHT OF THE HIND
END OF THE ANIMAL
 The synsacrum is a skeletal
structure in which the sacrum
is extended by incorporation
of additional fused or
partially-fused caudal or
lumbar vertebrae.
 The ilium of the pelvis is
attached to the synsacrum.
 In birds, posterior to the
synsacrum there are usually
only a few free caudal
vertebrae, on the end of
which lies the pygostyle.
Photo by: Umesh Bharti
 The furcula ("little fork" in Latin) is a  A keel is an extension of the sternum
(breastbone) which runs axially along the midline
forked bone found in birds, formed by of the sternum and extends outward,
the fusion of the two clavicles. perpendicular to the plane of the ribs.
 Its function is the strengthening of the  The keel provides an anchor to which a bird's
thoracic skeleton to withstand the rigors wing muscles attach, thereby providing adequate
of flight. leverage for flight.
UNCINATE PROCESSES OF THE RIBS

 The uncinate processes of the


ribs are extensions of bone that
in birds project caudally from
the vertical segment of each rib.
 These processes help to
strengthen the rib cage of birds
by overlapping with the rib
behind them
 They are also shown to have a
role in respiration by increasing
the effectiveness of muscles
involved in inspiration including
the appendicocostal muscles

Photo by: Umesh Bharti


FEATHER

 Bird feathers consist of a shaft with rows of


fine filaments (barbs) on each side.
 The barbs themselves have finer filaments
(barbules) branching from them.
THREE SETS OF FEATHERS

 The bird's forelimbs, the wings, are the key to bird flight. Each wing has a central vane to hit the wind,
composed of three limb bones, the humerus, ulna and radius.
 The hand, or manus, which ancestrally was composed of five digits, is reduced to three digits which
serves as an anchor for the primaries, responsible for the wing's airfoil shape.
 The other set of flight feathers, behind the carpal joint on the ulna, are called the secondaries.
 The remaining feathers on the wing are known as coverts, of which there are three sets.
AIR PASSES BETWEEN VANES AIR
RESISTANCE CLOSES VANES

 The flight feathers overlap


in a way that lets air pass
between them during the
upstroke, so reducing air
resistance.
 During the downstroke
the gap is closed so
offering maximum air
resistance and giving lift.
ASSOCIATION BETWEEN MUSCLE &BONE
FRONT VIEW OF SKELETON AND WING
MUSCLES TO EXPLAIN FLAPPING FLIGHT

5 Whole body 4 Upthrust transmitted


lifted from wing to coracoid

tendon of minor pectoral


muscle

coracoid 2 Wing pulled down

minor pectoral muscle (raises wing) 3 Air resistance gives


upthrust on wing
major pectoral muscle (depresses wing)
1 Major pectoral
sternum muscle contracts
keel
EXERCISE TO SHOW THAT BONES OF BIRDS
ARE LIGHTER

 Mammalian skull  Avian skull


QUICK RECAP

 WHAT IS THE ROLE OF:


 Keel
 Pectoral muscles
 Wish bone
 Pecten of eye
 Feathers
 Synsacrum
 Pneumatic bones
MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 How is a bird's body adapted for flight?


 Explain morphological adaptations of flight in
birds?
 Give an account of physiological adaptations for
flight shown by birds?
 Write a note on flight adaptations of birds?
REFERENCES
 1.Adaptations for Flight.[Internet]cited 2006-May-09, Available from:
http://www.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Adaptations.htm

2. Hasting L.Your guide to animal/wild life, Birds. [Internet] cited 2006-May-


09 Available from:
http://animals.about.com/od/birdsastudyguide/a/introtobirds.htm

3. Bird flight.2006-May-10[Internet]cited 2006-May-09.Available from:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_flight