Birds belongs to wide range of class, this article explains the peculiar habits of flightless birds and their unique features.Over thousands of years, many ground dwelling birds have lost the power of flight altogether, their wings becoming withered and useless or adapted for other uses. Freed from the need to stay small and lightweight, some species evolved into the biggest birds on Earth.
FLYING is a great way of fleeing from Danger and finding food, but it quickly burns through a bird’s energy reserves. So, if a bird can find food and keep out of danger without having to fly, it pays to stay on the ground.
Over thousands of years, many ground dwelling birds have lost the power of flight altogether, their wings becoming withered and useless or adapted for other uses. Freed from the need to stay small and lightweight, some species evolved into the biggest birds on Earth.
Emus are the Australian equivalent of ostriches. As with ostriches, the males are devoted parents, incubating the eggs without getting up to eat, drink, or even defecate, and guarding the chicks for months with no help from the mother.
Africa’s ostriches don’t need to fly because they can run from danger. They are the fastest birds on land and can top 45 mph (72 km/h), twice as fast as the best Olympic sprinters.
They are also the world’s largest birds, with the heaviest eggs, the longest necks, the biggest eyes, and one of the longest life-spans (up to 68 years). Contrary to popular belief, they never bury their heads in the sand.
Ostriches’ eyes are bigger than their brains.
Ostriches are the only birds with just two toes, a feature that helps them sprint.
Ostriches would have to reach a ground speed of 100 mph (160 km/h) to get airborne.
The feathers are shaggy because the barbules don’t zip up neatly like those of flying birds.
On remote islands with no mammals, birds had few enemies and many became flightless. When explorers reached these islands, the birds were an easy catch. The dodo of Mauritius, the Hawaiian giant goose, and New Zealand’s moas were hunted to extinction. One of the few survivors is the Galápagos flightless cormorant.
THE CURIOUS KIWI
Over time, the kiwi’s wings and tail have all but disappeared and its feathers have turned to fur. It lives like a badger, snuffling around forests at night and hiding in a burrow during the day. Its nostrils are at the end of a long bill, which it uses to probe the ground for worms.
WINGS AS OTHER THINGS
The flightless wings of penguins, far from becoming weak with disuse, have evolved to perform a different function: instead of beating against air, they beat against water. Large wings would be slow to swim with, so they have become short, flat, and paddle-shaped. This adaptation has made penguins the fastest and most agile swimmers of any birds.