Read e-book online Flightless Birds PDF

By Clive Roots

ISBN-10: 0313083940

ISBN-13: 9780313083945

ISBN-10: 0313335451

ISBN-13: 9780313335457

We percentage the earth with a wide selection of animal species, every one of which brings anything specified to the variety of the planet. by way of understanding extra approximately how animals behave and dwell, we achieve a better figuring out of ways existence developed and the significance of biodiversity. This quantity offers a whole consultant to these birds that experience advanced a trait that might appear to damage their skill to outlive - flightlessness. Flight has its benefits - why may a few birds be flightless? Flightless Birds covers the lack of flight in birds, either completely after years of evolution, and briefly because of strange molting habit, and people species which are in a number of phases of wasting their flight. The e-book offers an intensive advisor, excellent for learn papers in biology sessions, for knowing the habit and biodiversity of a desirable and strange workforce of animals.

Flightless Birds comprises sections at the significant teams of flightless birds: Rarities whose historical ancestors have been at the continents once they broke away hundreds of thousands of years in the past, and who survived regardless of competing with mammals; birds that have been marooned on islands within the ocean, the place nutrition was once ample and predators absent; penguins, which developed along seas teeming with foodstuff and had no use to fly, and the designated case of latest Zealand's many flightless species which developed in a predator-free paradise yet couldn't focus on the settlers and their alien animals; and the various species that have develop into extinct inside of old occasions. superbly illustrated, with quite a few colour pictures, Flightless Birds presents copious fabric for knowing those strange animals.

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Queen Arsinoe II (the wife of Ptolemy II and joint ruler of Egypt in 279–270 BC) is recorded riding a saddled ostrich, and with their history of attempted animal domestication it is quite possible that the Egyptians bred and raised them. The ancient Romans also had a close association with the ostrich, which they trained to pull chariots, and their plumes graced centurions’ helmets. They were slaughtered in the arena and were eaten afterwards; their oil was applied to the skin for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.

Although they are useless for flight, both the ostrich and rhea have surprisingly large wings, and welldeveloped muscles in the forearm and hand. The ostrich actually has sixteen primary feathers on each wing, six more than the average flying bird. Both the ostrich and rhea employ the broken-wing tactic of the flying birds when attempting to draw predators away from their nests or young, further proof that they evolved from flying birds. The cassowary and emu have rudimentary wings and vestigial feathers, which in the cassowary are long, bare quills.

Early in the last century, 750,000 ostriches were farmed in Cape Province alone to meet the demand for plumes, and a good breeding pair sold for $400. Their feathers, which were usually plucked once annually and occasionally three times in two years, ranked fourth in total export value from South Africa. The ostrich industry collapsed during the First World War, but began again in the mid 1940s for meat and skin production. ‘‘Everywhere I looked I saw ostriches,’’ wrote travel writer H. V. Morton after visiting the ostrich farming center of Oudtshorn in Cape Province in 1947, when their dried meat sold for one shilling per pound and skins for five shillings each.

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Flightless Birds by Clive Roots

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