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General Characters of Class


Birds(AVES) are highly evolved

vertebrates. Birds first appeared during
Jurassic period of Mesozoic era .
TheMesozoic Erais an interval of
geological time from about 252 to 66
million years ago. They evolved from
Ornithischian dinosaurs of Reptilian
group. In the cretaceous period the
birds became modernized.

* Most birds are adapted for aerial mode of

life. Hence the body shows many
modifications for aerial mode of life
* The science which deals with birds is
* In the present day world 8590 species of
birds are living
Aves belongs to
Phylum: Chordata
Sub phylum: Vertebrate
Group: Gnathostomata
Class : Aves.

* Birds are warm blooded, bipedal

verterates covered by feathers.
*Birds body is divisible into head,
neck, trunk and tail.
* In Birds forelimbs are modified
into wings (forelimb bears three
cIaw less digits , wings bear
feathers. They are useful for
* In Birds hind limbs are strong
and are useful for perching and
walking . They bear 4 toes each
* Preen gland or oil gland present
at the base tail secretes an oily
substance which keeps the
feathers waterproof

* In Birds Skull is monocondylic single occipital

condyle present
* In Birds the lower jaw is made by 5 to 6 bones.
* The modern birds have no teeth.
* In most birdsbones are spongy and pneumatic.
They are light in weight and strong.
* In most birds posterior caudal vertebrae will united
to form apygostyle. It acts as a rudder. During the
flying it helps to change the direction of movement.
* Sternum is broad with a keel. This keel is useful for
the attachment of FLIGHT MUSCLES
* The clavicle and inter clavicle unite to formV
* In the forelimbs carpals and metacarpals are united
to form carpo-metacarpus .In hind limbs tarsal and
meta-tarsals, unites to form tarso metatarsus.

* Birds eyes are well developed. They have

monocular vision. In the eyecomb plate or
pectenis present. It protects the retina
from sunlight. It also helps in acute vision.
* Birds brain is well developed. Cerebral
hemispheres and cerebellum are well
developed.12 pairs of cranial nerves are

* The digestive system is well

developed ,gullet is dilated into a crop
which stores food. Stomach is divided
into glandular proventriculus and
muscular gizzard
* Anus is absent. Cloaca present. The
cloaca is 3 chambered.
* In birds Respiratory system is well
developed. The lungs are spongy and
non distensible they are continued into
air sacs. Nine air sacs are present which
makes the body light.

* At the base of trachea a syrinx is present.

* Heart is four chambered. Right arotic
arch is present.
* R.B.C. are oval, nucleated and biconcave.
* Kidneys are metanephric and three
lobed. Ureters open ino the cloaca , urinary
bladder is absent.
*Birds use the reptilian adaptation of
excreting nitrogenous wastes - uric acid
*Since uric acid has low solubility, a bird
can use far less water to excrete wastes

* Sexes are separate . Sexual

dimorphism is clearly exhibited.
* In the female left ovary and left
oviduct are present
* Fertilization is internal
* Birds are oviparous. They lay large
cleiodic eggs with extra embryonic

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