General Question

Zen's avatar

Science time: a bird is a bird, right?

Asked by Zen (7743points) September 15th, 2009

So how come they have evolved sooooo differently from each other since they evolved from the dinos?

Penguins (my faves) stick together for life. Lots of other birds kiss and tell, or kiss and fly away.

Some birds could care less about their mate/young; others mate for life and even raise their chicks for as long as the human equivalent.

What makes them so different, and don’t tell me geography, climate and other stuff like that, please.

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29 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

They have observed the human species and decided to go the same route!

gailcalled's avatar

As did all the other flora and fauna. Moss vs. Sequoia, sunflower vs. violet, pigmy shrew vs. hippo. It’s the rhythm of life, man.

Tink's avatar

<——Why thank you!

marinelife's avatar

The range you describe is also common in lots of other types of animals including human beings, dogs and wolves, etc.

Axemusica's avatar

@Tink1113 lol.

It’s a good question, but I think birds are limiting. Should picked bugs! lol, They’re still discovering new species of insect, AS WE SPEAK! Although, this is a great question & it even sounds like something I would ask.
I’m gonna show you some lurve. :)

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I don’t see how the variation in species of birds means much of anything. Almost every other animal group has the same variations. But since there are variations, that’s why we break it down into specific categories- blue jay, emperor penguin, red cockaded woodpecker, etc.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Geography and climate do come into play in evolution, but each species of bird evolved a different ecological niche. Penguins are built the way they are to stay warm and woodpeckers have the shape of beak they do so they can get the delicious bugs out of trees.

janbb's avatar

And I thank you too (even though I’m orange and unrecognizable at the moment.)

Tink's avatar

Did I mention I love ORaNGE penguins?

Jayne's avatar

Why shouldn’t we tell you geography and climate and other stuff like that? Environmental and ecological factors, combined with some element of chance, dictate how a genetic line will evolve; the fact that some lines share a fairly recent common ancestor and are therefore sufficiently similar that we find it convenient to group them under the label of birds, does not make them any different in this regard from humans as compared with honey bees. Ultimately, we all share a common ancestor, and it is the effects of climate geography, and all that “other stuff” that has cause the genetic lines to diverge.

janbb's avatar

@tink aw shucks

MissAusten's avatar

Actually, birds are dinosaurs.

Today’s primates share common ancestry, but vary widely. I doubt anyone on Fluther much resembles a baboon or lemur. Any time you choose such a general classification, like birds, dogs, primates, or insects, you’re going to find incredible variation. It’s pretty amazing.

gailcalled's avatar

@MissAusten: Were you here for the reign of @brownlemur?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

What is amazing is the variety of life that evolved after the end-Permian extinction 251 million years ago, in which nearly 95% of all life on earth was wiped out. From just the little over 5% of life that survived, we have everything from ants to zebras.

And just for your information, all the insects on earth outweigh all other lifeforms combined. The insects were here before us, and they will be here after we are gone.

Zen's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Did the Permian era really become extince 251 million years ago> I think not, and my daughter’s constant hair-styling (perms) will attest to that. And wasn’t it the cheesiest of times immediately thereafter… the Parmesan era?


evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Zen, while Evelyn loves a good pun, you just might find yourself forcibly removed from Fluther by the folks here with no stomach for them.

Zen's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Forcibly as in “they’re coming to take me away, ha ha?”

I have Andrew’s stamp of approval, and. in case you are being serious (and I’m not), you can either mod me, or re-direct the question or answer. Not remove me entirely from fluther. What would that be for exactly? Saying Parmesan era?

(See Yarnlady’s sense of humour question).

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Zen, I wouldn’t mod you, as I am rarely serious on Fluther, unless it is about my imaginary 300 foot tall friend, I never kid about her. =)

You are fine, it is me that is screwy.

Zen's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Lurve.

(Mumbles to self: Psycho!)

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Zen I always say this to everyone: If you think I might be a psycho, please form a double line over to the left.

Zen's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra I already asked to be a Zebra, and I am still waiting on line to the left from the last time we spoke. I’m first in line, and with my umbrella and bag of Cheetos, I’m good to go even if the wait is long. Someone bring me a sleeping bag and little pup tent, please?

BBSDTfamily's avatar

You’re ruling out key factors in your initial question. Climate has a lot to do with how a species adapts, so you basically made your question unanswerable.

Zen's avatar

@BBSDTfamily You are correct. Apologies.

LostInParadise's avatar

There is a basic ecological rule that says that no two species can occupy exactly the same niche. If that situation holds at any time among a group of species, one of them is going to drive the others to extinction. In other words, each species has to come up with its own shtick. This is an engine driving diversity. Sometimes it will appear as if two species in the same location are doing the same thing, but closer inspection reveals otherwise. For example, if there are two herbivore species, they might go after different types of grasses.

mattbrowne's avatar

Some smart creatures decided not to breastfeed so instead of bats they became birds.

Zen's avatar

@mattbrowne That was both hilarious and probably a truth, if I know you.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Zen Evelyn knows why you want to be a Zebra, and frankly, you quite embrrassed her. I didn’t think it possible. Such a dirty mind for a guy in a Star Fleet uniform. You have disrespected Jean Luc Picard, and you should be ashamed. ~

Zen's avatar


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