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9.3.3.2 Adaptations to flight

Adaptations to the flight of birds

Although many animalsvertebrates and invertebrates, are capable of flight, birds are the best at itThey have different types of flight, flapping or gliding, and even some species such as the kiwi, the ostrich, or the penguin, cannot fly.

The main adaptations that have allowed the flight of birds are:

  • Its body is aerodynamically shaped, adapted to its displacement in the air to offer little resistance to the air.
  • The feathers increase the surface of the bird and help it in flight.
  • The bones are hollow and the beak is hornywithout teeth, so they weigh little.
  • The pectoral muscles are highly developed, capable of moving the wings.
  • They have air sacs in the lungs with which they carry out gas exchange.
  • Birds are oviparous, they lay eggs. Thus they do not have to carry the embryos inside and they weigh less to fly.
  • They are endothermic, they regulate their temperature.

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Streamlined shape

Birds aren't the only ones that have a streamlined shape. For example, in motorcycle or car races it is important to reduce friction with the air as much as possible.

Do you want to see how a cyclist improves his aerodynamic shape to go faster?