how are birds different from humans

Do you have anything in common with the pigeon pecking for birdseed at the local park? The answer is actually yes!

Some of the similarities between birds and humans are due to them sharing a common ancestor millions and millions of years ago. That ancestor was a primitive, reptile-like creature that didn’t resemble a human or a bird, but still had traits in common with both.

These common-ancestor traits include being a vertebrate (or an animal with a backbone) and being an amniote. Amniotes (which include reptiles, birds, and mammals) are animals that are capable of reproducing without a water source due to evolving internal fertilization (when sperm fertilizes the egg inside the female instead of outside in the environment) and an egg with a thick, relatively hard shell that doesn’t need to stay moist to avoid drying up.

Birds and humans are also both tetrapods, or animals with a four-footed body plan. However, you may have also noticed that both birds and humans are bipedal, meaning they walk on two legs rather than four. Both these groups are still considered tetrapods because they diverged from four-footed ancestors.

In fact, underneath all those feathers, bird wings are made of the same basic anatomical building blocks as a dog’s front legs. The same can be said of a human’s arms; they are simply a redesigned version of the front, walking legs of other tetrapods.

Birds and humans also share some traits that are not due to a common ancestor, but instead something called “convergent evolution”. Convergent evolution occurs when species that are not closely related evolve the same or similar traits due to similar evolutionary pressures.

An example of convergent traits shared by birds and humans is that they are both “warm-blooded” (or endothermic), even though their most recent common ancestor was “cold-blooded” (or ectothermic). Birds and humans also both have an efficient, four-chambered heart rather than a two or three-chambered one. Both these traits evolved to allow birds and mammals to live in cold environments and to be more active and athletic.

There are also some behavioral traits shared between birds and humans. Both are quite intelligent compared to reptiles, amphibians, or fish. Birds and humans form complex social groups, often involving complex vocal communication. Both groups usually care for their offspring for an extended period of time as well, as opposed to most ectothermic animals, which don’t offer a high level of parental care.

AskaBiologist (n.d.). Human, Bird, and Bat Bone Comparison. Arizona State University. Retrieved March 13, 2020 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/human-bird-and-bat-bone-comparison

AskaBiologist (n.d.). Human, Bird, and Bat Bone Comparison. Arizona State University. Retrieved March 13, 2020 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/human-bird-and-bat-bone-comparison

Actually, the answer to the question “do you have anything in common with the pigeon pecking for birdseed at the local park?” is “yes.”

Even though their most recent common ancestor was “cold-blooded” (or ectothermic), birds and humans share convergent traits such as being “warm-blooded” (or endothermic). Humans and birds both have an effective four-chambered heart as opposed to two or three chambered hearts. These two characteristics developed over time to enable mammals and birds to live in cold climates and to be more energetic and athletic.

Underneath all those feathers, bird wings are actually composed of the same fundamental anatomical components as a dog’s front legs. Similar to other tetrapods, humans’ arms are essentially redesigned versions of their front walking legs.

The fact that birds and humans had a common ancestor millions and millions of years ago accounts for some of their similarities. That progenitor was a primitive, reptile-like animal that shared characteristics with both humans and birds despite not resembling either.

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Deki. Logic. ExtensionProcessorQueryProvider+<>c__DisplayClass230_0. b__1]()”, Chapter_6 : “property get [Map MindTouch. Deki. Logic. ExtensionProcessorQueryProvider+<>c__DisplayClass230_0. b__1]()”, Ecology : “property get [Map MindTouch. Deki. Logic. ExtensionProcessorQueryProvider+<>c__DisplayClass230_0. b__1]()”, Evolution : “property get [Map MindTouch. Deki. Logic. ExtensionProcessorQueryProvider+<>c__DisplayClass230_0. b__1]()”, Genetics : “property get [Map MindTouch. Deki. Logic. ExtensionProcessorQueryProvider+<>c__DisplayClass230_0. b__1]()” }Mon, 03 Jun 2019 03:39:07 GMTComparing a Human Skeleton with an Avian Skeleton 2063720637Delmar Larsen{ }AnonymousAnonymous2falsefalsehttps://bio libretexts. org/@app/auth/3/login?returnto=https%3A%2F%2Fbio. libretexts. org%2FLearning_Objects%2FWorksheets%2FBook%253A_The_Biology_Corner_(Worksheets)%2FAnatomy_Worksheets%2FComparing_a_Human_and_Avian_Skeleton .

The sternum’s size and form represent yet another clear distinction between the skeletons of humans and birds. Large and situated beneath the body, the sternum of a bird is where the flight muscles attach. The ridge of the birds sternum is called a keel. The sternum and spine are joined by the ribs. Make the ribs (R) blue and the sternum (H) red on both skeletons. Draw the sternum’s edge in green on the bird to reveal the keel (I)

Both humans and birds have a large cranium to protect their heads. A bone called the maxilla makes up the upper jaw in humans and the upper beak in birds. The mandible, a bone, makes up the lower jaw and lower beak. Color the mandible (C) pink, the maxilla (B) grey, and the cranium (A) red on both skeletons.

Human arm bones are made up of the ulna, radius, and humerus. These bones are also found in the bird. On both skeletons, color the humerus (G) pink. Make the ulna (E) light green and the radius (F) green.

The leg is made up of two lower leg bones and a long femur that joins to the pelvis. The tibia and fibula are one and the same bone in the bird. In humans, they are separated. You are most likely familiar with the bird’s tibia, which is the portion you eat and is known as the drumstick. The femur is the bone that is inside the bird’s thigh when it is eaten. Color the tibia (O) light blue, the femur (N) orange, and the pelvis (M) yellow on both skeletons. On the human only, color the fibula (P) dark blue. The patella, commonly known as the kneecap, is also visible on the human skeleton. Color the patella (S) green.

FAQ

In what ways are people different from birds?

– Birds have hollow bones, which contribute to their lightness and help them achieve flight. Human bones are solid. – Birds lay eggs, and most species incubate their eggs until they hatch.

How do birds see differently than humans?

Birds see more colours than humans as they perceive parts of the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum that are invisible to our eyes. Along with this, they have better visual acuity and can filter wavelengths to establish subtle differences between similar shades of colour, shades that humans cannot distinguish.

How are birds different than us?

The main difference between the human and bird skeleton is that the bird’s skeleton is adapted for flight. The bones of a bird are hollow which makes the skeleton lighter. A bird’s sternum is large and positioned under the body – flight muscles attach to this bone. The ridge of the bird’s sternum is called a keel.

How are birds bones different from humans?

Bird bones are relatively thin, but are stiff and dense compared to mammal bone. One adaptation is fusion of vertebrae to form a rigid spinal column to support flight.