Fun Facts About Birds
- There are around 10,000 or so different bird species in the world across a diverse spectrum of all different shapes, sizes, and types.
- Birds perform many helpful functions, eating up pests like insects and rodents, and pollinating plants, spreading seeds, or being food for other critters.
- Birds have been around for more than 150 million years, far longer than humans.
- Song birds make up nearly 1/2 of all avian species.
Gannets can dive deep into the ocean in search of a juicy mackerel. They hit the water at speeds of up to 60 M.P.H., plunging as much as 30 to 50 feet below the surface. When one bird dives, others copy the behavior and follow along, which means you’ll sometimes have several birds trying to get the same fish. Hummm… sound like any kids you know?
Stick-billed Murres can dive up to 700 feet under water. That’s longer than 2 football fields deep!
Pretty (Smart) Bird
Birds can be very intelligent. For instance, scientists in Sweden conducted tests showing that not only are Ravens as smart as apes and some small children, but they can plan ahead for the future too. Workers created a set of special puzzle boxes and other challenges for the birds to solve. One puzzle gave them the option of getting either an immediate treat, or a special tool that would help them unlock a much larger reward later.
Many ravens skipped the easy treat in favor of the tool that would help them unlock a bigger bounty 17 hours later, showing they were planning ahead for the future. It’s the first time a study has demonstrated non-instinctual future planning in an animal outside the wild. (Milius, 8-19-2017)
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