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Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Michael Denny

Lecture 1What is a Birdintegument consists of skin scales and feathersfeathers are dead keratin of the epidermisfeathers are also key for thermoregulationprevent heat loss and are excellent insulators compared to mammalian hairbirds skeleton is characterized by lightening loss and fusion o the humerus has a trabeculae bone in the head and air sacslighten it and retains strength o fusion of carpals and metacarpals into carpometacarpusrigid platform for flight feathersPectoral Girdle giant sternum with a big keelPowered Flightefficient to travel long distances requires a lot of fuelavian lung is the most efficient gasexchange system in vertebrates o consists of paired solid lungs 8 air sacs and the bronchial airway system o air and blood vessels are arranged in parallelallows for countercurrent gas exchangeefficient o air is moved by air sacs not lungssmall lungs large area of air sacscan process a lot of inspired air o rib movements change air sac sizes not lung sizefingerlike outpockets diverticuli of air sacs invade some of the skeleton cervical vertebrae humerusBird Migrationseasonal migration between breeding grounds and winter feeding groundsfeature of songbirds and shorebirds that inhabit northern climatesconsequence of the efficient respiratory and cardiovascular systembirds can sustain flight in a wide range of conditions o ex Migrating Barheaded geese flies at 30000 feet over the Himalayas where humans can barely functionJaw Systemmodified jaw systemeschewing teeth for
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