The Birdzilla Blog
Information from the world of birding, including new content and products from Birdzilla.com.
Birds as flying machines – Part 1
Birds can fly because they have low weight and lots of power. Their feathers, wings, hollow bones, warm bloodedness, powerful breast muscles, and a strong heart all contribute to this ability.
Because of their hollow bones, bird skeletons are filled with air. Although extremely light, bird skeletons are also very strong and elastic because of an interlacing network of fiber. To “trim ship” further, birds have heads that are very light in proportion to the rest of the body. This is because they do not have teeth and heavy jaws to carry them. The function of teeth is handled by the bird’s gizzard, which is located near the bird’s center of gravity.
Feathers, the most distinctive and remarkable feature of birds are magnificently adapted (or designed) for fanning the air, insulating against the weather and reducing weight. It has been claimed that for their weight, feathers are stronger than any wing structure designed by man. Amazing!
Next time: Fuel and breathing!