Why do birds have such little variety in their body plans? Pic related is an amphibian by the way. Posted on March 3, 2023 by Anonymous Why do birds have such little variety in their body plans? Pic related is an amphibian by the way.
The bird body plan is very limited due to the restrictions of flying for so long. Between no teeth and no hands they have a distinct disadvantage against all other tetrapods in many niches.
Also birds were once just a small subset of dinosaurs (they arent dinosaurs anymore they are just archosaurs) and look at how much body diversity they had. Mammals had most of the later mesozoic to evolve into a variety of generalist niches with their hands and teeth still intact. So they were able to take far more niches than birds were except in situations where there were no mammals such as islands or antarctica.
Its kind of like how octopi never made it to land. There was simply too much competition by animals that needed to evolve less to do new things in that environment.
>they arent dinosaurs anymore they are just archosaurs
Because birds found an ideal form which works across a wide variety of niches.
when you lose a body part it becomes almost impossible to regain it
and birds are built by subtracting things, not gaining them. They've reached a point where they've subtracted everything they can in order to fly, and now they can't grow into new shapes
Gould answered this pretty well.
My guess is that the aerodynamics of flight sort of forces a certain optimal shape. Kinda like planes from different manufacturers look almost identical.
This is even more extreme for fish where fish from completely different families will have almost the same body plan.
When amphibians branched from the other tetrapods it formed two groups, amphibians and all the others. It is like asking why rats have so little variety of body plans while reptiles have way more variety. A fairer comparison would be to compare amphibians to birds, mammals, reptiles and all dinosaurs combined
This is one of the important and indispensable facts of modern biology.
But retards on Wauf somehow never understand it, saying "Animals like crocodiles and horseshoe crabs have almost never changed for tens or hundreds of millions of years. What a successful species!", although they are indeed remnants of unsuccessful groups of animals that have been so oppressed by their sister groups that they couldn't obtain varieties of body plans in stable manner until today.
>remnants of unsuccessful groups of animals
them existing today is proof they were successful, because if that body plan wasnt, it wouldve changed they wouldve goon extinct due to competing pressure. its like why every ground dwelling animal is trying to minimize the impact of their limbs to achieve a more tubular body plan, like snakes, worms, skinks, moles, or why every fish is streamlined, or why things in crustacean family adopts the crab plan.
I think he meant the ancient family of crocodilians which included a much bigger variety in bodyplans, you had terrestrial galloping crocodilians and fully marine ones. Today the only ones that survived are pretty much semi-aquatic ambush predators
and those were specialized forms, specialization is how you die in a mass extinction, the only exception is humans because intelligence allows you bypass the downside
Fair enough. Initially I wanted to make the comparison between birds and mammals but then I decided to choose a less obvious example.
Best answer so far. It still has me wondering why not a single small non-avian dinosaur species survived the great extinction, and why there were so few of them in general.
What you think was the "best answer" still is stupid. A fairer comparison would be comparing birds to caecilians. "why birds have so many forms and are adapted to so many different habitats while caecilians just look like huge worms/retard snakes?"
In fact even comparing to amphibians as a whole birds are much more adaptable. Penguins swim better than fish, have solid bones to serve as weight in contrast with the hollow bones of other birds, live in areas freaking cold, salt glands to excrete excess salt from salt water and even have structures like an egg pocket to keep their eggs warm. Any amphibian have any adaptation to swim that fast? To live and hunt in the sea? To thrive in freezing temperatures? We have huge birds who live in arid climate and run 7-km/h. Do we have any living amphibian that big, that run that fast or that thrive in such dry climate? We have birds who spend most of their life flying and the fastest animal in the world is a bird. For amphibians at best we have some that do a shitty glide. Amphibians have basically 3-4 general lifestyles and were unable to break from those while birds are everywhere with the most different lifestyles and diets. We have birds specialized in eating seeds, fruits, nectar, insects, small mammals, carrion, blood, filterfeeding birds eating plankton from caustic waters, birds making holes on wood to reach the larvae inside. You just find birds "normal" because they are everywhere and you are used to seeing birds on a daily basis while you only see amphibians occasionally.
Yeah my example sucked but if we compare them to mammals the point still stands. Look at all the aquatic and semi-aquatic mammals.
what does penguissy feel like bros?
Mammals are land animals who branched to water. Birds are land animals who conquered the skies and then branched back to land and water.
Don't forget bats
Birds still are the best adapted to life in air. Many species migrates from one side of the planet to the other as a regular thing or spend most of their life in the air. For some species flying is not just a locomotion method, the air is their main habitat flying for months while feeding, molting, mating and sleeping in mid flight. Sort of like how some seals live their entire lives in the water only seeking land to reproduce except they still fuck on land.
True, but that's not to say that bats aren't good at it as well.
Bats' main shortcoming is that by using a wing made out of skin, they greatly increase their surface area which means they can't retain heat as well, which means they can't live actively in cold environments and have to resort to hibernation. A bird's "wing" is very small, what makes most of its surface area are feathers which is essentially dead tissue that not only reduces surface area to volume ratio, but also insulates
I would say bats are cars converted to copters while birds are planes with some converted to copters, some to cars and some to boats/submarines. helicopters are pretty agile but aren't the ideal mode for long distance or speed.
The other big disadvantage to the bat body form is that they can barely walk. People will say birds are hyper-focused on flying, but for many birds flying is just a safe and convenient way to go from grazing place to grazing place.
Another bad example. Mammals developed like 50 million years before birds. A better comparison would be mammals with manirapters or therapods which includes the likes of trex, velociraptor, and theraziasaurs. When you compare the two it measures about even in terms of diversity of form, and niche but that's because during the mesoziac mammals were basically just rodent like creatures, and now the remaining therapods are just birds. Groups of animals can only diversify if theres a missing niche
If those survived they would've been grouped in with birds. Mammals didn't have a head start, quite the opposite. I'm talking about animals that are alive today.
Because mammals took all the niches that were available to the dinosaurs. I just told you. Same reason why mammals in the Mesozoic all looked like rodents
>To thrive in freezing temperatures?
Does the faggy suit bird have blood that also doubles as a natural antifreezer?
The frog survives in those temperatures for a limited amount of time. If those temperatures stayed for longer it would never be able to reproduce so no, it can’t thrive in those temperatures.
I always wondered what a fully marine bird would look like
Closest thing are penguins which can spend months out at sea but still have to return to land to breed. How would a cetacean-like bird work?
all birds come from the same lineage of therapod dinossaurs
modern birds have only been around since the late cretaceous. prolly why
these frighten me
they should, they're real assholes
I got bitten by one once, I remember the pain in my fingertips
Cassowaries will fuck your shit up if you aren’t careful
Storks, eagles, penguins, and ostriches sure look pretty different to me.
Not to the extend that whales differ from bats. Dinosaurs were also much more different from each other.
birds are dinosaurs
>OMG I HEKCING LOVE SATAN SOOOO MUCH