Which Birds Are Mammals?
Which birds are mammals?
No birds are mammals. Mammals and birds are two different (biological) classes.
Mammals constitute the class Mammalia and are characterized by mammary glands. Females produce milk for feeding (nursing) their young, a neocortex (a region of the brain), fur or hair, and three middle ear bones.
Birds are a group of endothermic vertebrates characterized by feathers, wings, a beak, and the laying of hard-shelled eggs. They are generally devoted to flight, though some exceptions are like penguins, which have significantly reduced wings compared to their aquatic adaptation. Kiwis and Ostriches are flightless birds as well. Their bones are denser and heavier than those of birds that can fly.
Which mammals can fly like birds?
Bats! Bats are mammals that can fly like birds.
Bats are generally small mammals with long, fully developed wings; large, funnel-shaped ears; five clawed digits on each branch; an elongated snout or proboscis (a nose-leaf in some species); and a spine-covered tail.
Mammals have fur or hair and produce milk for their young, although these features are poorly developed in bats. Instead, bats’ forelimbs form webbed wings (which accounts for their Latin name “Chiroptera,” meaning “hand wing”), making them the only mammals that can truly fly.
Each bat species is an expert at navigating through the night with its exceptionally well-developed echo navigation and echolocation. In addition, the development of wing shape in bats is unique among mammals and is a classic example of convergent evolution.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention!
Bats developed wings because flying was necessary to escape from their predators. The first bats were small, furry tree huggers fed on insects and probably weighed about as much as a grapefruit. They searched for food by night, using their enormous ears to help them locate and grab insects as they fluttered around in the dark.
Now you know which mammals can fly like birds!
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