When did birds evolve?
The first birds evolved out of earlier small dinosaurs late in the Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago. At this time, most of the bigger animals on Earth were dinosaurs.
The Jurassic period
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How are birds the same as dinosaurs?
Birds are like dinosaurs in many ways: they both lay eggs in nests, and they both walk mainly on their hind legs (Birds use their front legs as wings). Many dinosaurs were warm-blooded, like birds. Some dinosaurs even had feathers, like birds. Some dinosaurs had beaks, like birds, instead of teeth.
More about eggs
And about feathers
Jaws and teeth evolve
Why do birds eat bugs?
Birds ate the same things as small meat-eating dinosaurs – worms and small insects like flies, grasshoppers, bees and mosquitoes, and meat from dead reptiles and mammals and frogs. Sea birds also ate mollusks like clams and mussels. There were a lot of bugs around in the Cretaceous period, when a lot of birds evolved. Flowering plants were evolving, and bugs evolved to eat their nectar. Then birds evolved to eat the insects.
Bees and mosquitoes
The Cretaceous period
Domesticated birds: chickens and turkeys
Most birds are still wild. But people have gradually domesticated a few types of birds. Chickens and turkeys, especially, survive mainly as farm animals today.
Chickens in Asia
Turkeys in Central America
Learn by doing – birds
Bibliography and further reading about birds:
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