There is an abundance of bird information available to the enthusiast. Letís begin with a bit of history.
Evolution of Birds
Most ornithologists believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs. The first known species of bird, the archaeopteryx, lived about 150,000,000 years ago. Although it had feathers and wings, it also had reptilian features, such as teeth, claws on all four limbs, and a long, bony tail.
Fossil birds of North America were the ichthyornis, which resembled a gull, and the hesperornis, a water-dweller about five feet long with sharp teeth. By about 75,000,000 years ago, the types of birds we know today had already begun to develop.
How Birds Are Classified
Referenced bird information shows that birds form the class Aves of the phylum Chordata. There are also two subclasses: Archaeornithes, which consists entirely of extinct birds (including the archaeopteryx); and Neornithes, which includes three superorders as follow:
· Odontognathae - Extinct birds that had teeth. Examples are the ichthyornis and hesperornis.
· Impennes - This consists of only one living order, Sphenisciformes or penguins.
· Neognathae - There are 28 orders to this superorder, including:
8. Colymbiformes or Podicipidiformes
23. Apodiformes (formerly Micropodiformes)
Bird Care Tips
There are a myriad birds that make good pets. In fact, birds are among the most popular common house pets. Care must be taken though in the choosing of birds and in bird care. Here are some tips:
Choosing a Bird
While small birds, such as parakeets and canaries, require minimal care, large birds, such as parrots, cockatoos, and cockateels, can require a great deal of care and demand a lot of affection. Make sure you know about the requirements of the bird youíre considering.
Avoid buying a canary between July and October, which is the canaryís molting season. A sudden environmental change during that period may send it into shock.
Before buying a parrot, be prepared for a lifetime relationship ó it may live longer than you do. Parrots become extremely attached to their owners.
Caring for Birds
When holding a pet bird, be very gentle. Bird bones are fragile ó even the slightest pressure on the wrong spot can cause a fracture.
Never let a pet bird loose in the kitchen.
If a pet bird breathes through its open mouth, you know itís sick. Buy a bird antibiotic at the pet store, pulverize it, and add it to your birdís drinking water. If this doesnít help, get it to the vet right away.
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Article Added on Sunday, November 23, 2008
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