Are birds reptiles?

Yes, birds are reptiles. Birds are a different animal class than reptiles, but they evolved from dinosaurs – and dinosaurs are reptiles. So, birds are “birds” and reptiles. This has been debated for years, but it’s widely accepted that birds evolved from dinosaurs millions of years ago. In fact, modern birds are the only surviving dinosaurs. Which makes them reptiles.

What's an animal class?

Animal classes are a way of categorizing animals by their physical characteristics. Animals can be classified as mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, or invertebrates. Mammals have hair and produce milk for their young, while reptiles do not. Birds lay eggs and have feathers, while fish lay eggs but don’t have feathers. Invertebrates don’t have backbones and include insects like ants or spiders and crustaceans like crabs or shrimp.

There are exceptions to the rules. For instance, some birds, like ostriches or penguins, can’t fly. At the same time, there’s been a reptile, the Pterosaur, a cousin of the dinosaurs, who lived 66 million years ago, who was able to fly. And while almost all reptiles lay eggs, some give birth to live young because they already hatch inside their mother’s body.